Knowledge Systems Laboratory
Stanford University

Abstract: Virtual Solar Terrestrial Observatories

We present the current state of development of ontologies for solar-terrestrial physics motivated by the development of the Virtual Solar-Terrestrial Observatory (VSTO - a distributed, scalable education and research environment for searching, integrating, and analyzing observational, experimental and model databases in the fields of solar, solar-terrestrial and space physics). Fully interdisciplinary solar-terrestrial science is limited by computer infrastructure and data availability and usability. Individually, datasets in the component disciplines have developed metadata schema that describe the syntax and, to a more limited degree, semantics. Some attempts have been made to bridge disciplines with categorizations (or dictionaries) of terms, and some limited controlled vocabulary. However, the level of completeness and detail is highly non-uniform and many redundant and contradictory terminology exists - all of which presents a significant challenge to interoperability. Thus our need is to develop a solar terrestrial ontology as a basis for building operational data frameworks needed for VSTO. We take a combined approach: upper-level - examining and filling in the SWEET ontologies starting in the middle and upper Earth's atmosphere, and extending through to the Sun, and lower-level - transforming the CEDAR, CISM and MLSO data schema into ontologies. We present the current state on both approaches and indicate successes, challenges and near-future steps.


Deborah L. McGuinness, Peter Fox, and Don Middleton. Virtual Solar Terrestrial Observatories. In Proceedings of the National Meeting on Research Frontiers in Cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences, San Diego, California, May 5-6, 2005. See abstract for details.

The abstract is available.

Return to Selected Papers of Deborah L. McGuinness.

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