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Ontology and metadata creation for the Poseidon distributed Coastal Zone Management System

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7 Author(s)
Wariyapola, P.C.H. ; Dept. of Ocean Eng., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Abrams, S.L. ; Robinson, A.R. ; Streitlien, K.
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The objective of the Poseidon Coastal Zone Management System project is to develop a distributed data and software architecture to locate, retrieve, utilize, and visualize information about the coastal ocean environment. The article focuses on the issues related to efficiently identifying and creating the data needed for a given task. Since scientific data sets often do not contain information about the environment in which the data was obtained, we need a method of distinguishing data based on external information, or metadata. This metadata needs to be standardized in order to facilitate searching. While many metadata standards exist, none of them are adequate for representing all the information needed for coastal zone management. We have therefore implemented existing metadata standards in an expandable object oriented structure known as the Warwick Framework. Furthermore, since metadata is expensive and tedious to produce, we have developed a Web based software tool that simplifies the process and reduces the storage of redundant information. While we can search the metadata for the information we need, we still need a common vocabulary, or ontology, to ensure that we can identify data unambiguously. Since no existing vocabulary encapsulates all aspects of the ocean sciences and ocean systems management, we have facilitated the production of such a resource by creating a Web based tool that will allow specialists with the requisite domain knowledge to populate the ontology independently. The tool handles all the logistical issues of storage, maintenance and distribution

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Research and Technology Advances in Digital Libraries, 1999. Proceedings. IEEE Forum on

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