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Earth system science deals with complex systems that pose many significant representation challenges. Ontologies as knowledge repositories have been developed to support the primary goal of sharing knowledge in a manner that aids understanding. DARPA is currently developing an extension to OWL called SWRL (semantic Web rule language), which lets to express some aspects of rules and process behaviors. The semantic Web facilitates researchers' collaboration and model components automated discovery and use. Spatial data plays a key role in modeling the earth system as the input to models and as a measure against which results are validated.