GEON-sponsored workshop on Geo-Ontology

Geo-Ontology Workshop Participants

Download workshop slides (PowerPoint)

The workshop was held Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4, 2005 at the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the campus of the University of California, San Diego. The two day workshop was to provide a forum for establishing the framework for a high level ontologic representation of planets, with an emphasis on the solid Earth. The anticipated research benefits of establishing ontologic frameworks range from registration of community databases for ease of access to complex integration queries anticipated for emerging science opportunities in planetary exploration, 4-D evolution of the earth, as well as environmental stewardship.


A. Krishna Sinha, Virginia Tech, , 540-231-5580 (office), 540-239-5001(cell)


  • Deborah McGuinness, Knowledge Systems Lab, Stanford University
  • Rob Raskin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena
  • Boyan Brodaric, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa
  • Randy Keller, University of Texas, El Paso
  • Ann Gates, University of Texas, El Paso
  • Bertram Ludaescher, University of California, Davis
  • Hassan Babaie, Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Rich Keller, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Jennifer Dungan, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Jian Zhong, Stanford University
  • Kai Lin, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego
  • Dogan Seber, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego

Workshop Co-coordinator:

Margaret Banton, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego,, 858-534-5070

For further information regarding release date for workshop report or other information regarding the meeting, please contact the workshop co-coordinator.

Geo-Ontology workshop

  • Current status of ontologic research in the earth sciences and its applications

  • Ontologies and Ontological Engineering ... D. L. McGuinness

    1. Discussion on building and managing complex and large ontologies

    2. Capabilities of the OWL language; Discussion on adopting a common AI technique for all earth science ontologies: W3C Ontology Web Language recommendation is quite useful. DLM suggests we should not go beyond the expressive power of OWL Dl for our representations if at all possible.

  • Analyzing the SWEET ontology as a planetary reference framework Current status of SWEET ... R. Raskin
    Discussion on SWEET objectives; integration with other ongoing earth science activities in building ontologies; interfaces with other major earth environments; addressing limitations of OWL for science ontologies, such as numeric processing; current status of modifications to SWEET.

  • Modifying SWEET to register lower level concepts and ontologies with an emphasis on the solid earth; issue of granularity

  • Registering and mapping datasets to ontology elements

  • Discussion of solid earth science Index terms as represented in ontologies: NASA GCMD; AGI; AGU; NADM

  • Creating a prototype high level solid earth ontology for additional research

  • Proof of Concept : highly visible application(s)

  • Plans for a research workshop on Geo-Ontology II: justification, objectives, location

  • Reading for the workshop: Deborah L. McGuinness. "Ontologies Come of Age". In Dieter Fensel, Jim Hendler, Henry Lieberman, and Wolfgang Wahlster, editors. Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its Full Potential. MIT Press, 2003. abstract ( This pre-print version of the paper to be published is available in word format ( and html format (

    Deborah L. McGuinness and Frank van Harmelen. OWL Web Ontology Language Overview. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. February 10, 2004. Available from

    Rob Raskin, SWEET ("Ontologies for Earth System Science")