October 1, 2009

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October 1, 2009 Telecon

1-3 pm EDT
Phone: Meeting Number: 877-326-0011
Meeting Code: *7884944*
GoTo Meeting Link: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/join/188806762


(feel free to add agenda items)

  1. Review of prior ESIP Water Cluster Activities - Paul Houser & All
  2. EPA Office of Water Water Quality Exchange (WQX) General Update - Chuck Spooner
  3. Presentation & discussion of CUAHSI Activities - TBD
  4. Potential for external review of EPA OEI Substance Registry System (SRS) chemicals and other terminology related to water - TBD
  5. Solving Ontology Wranglings ala MMI - Liaison with ESIP Semantic Cluster Group - Luis Bermudez & All
  6. GEOSS Related activities (in consultation with NASA/NOAA) - TBD
  7. Topics and organization for ESIP winter meeting (January 2010) All

Meeting Docs

MMI Ontology Wrangling


  • Bill Sonntag
  • Paul Houser
  • Debbie Belvedere
  • Rick Hooper
  • Carol Meyer
  • Brian Rogan
  • Lawrence Friedl
  • Bruce Bargmeyer
  • Kevin Keck
  • Gary Foley
  • Will Pozzi
  • Mark Hamilton
  • Danny Hardin
  • George Percivall
  • Louis Sweeney
  • Luis Bermudez
  • Chuck Spooner
  • Sara Graves
  • Wenwen Li
  • Phil Yang
  • Gail Hodge


1. Review of prior ESIP Water Cluster Activities

Paul Houser, co-chair reviewed prior activities of the ESIP Federation Water Cluster. Those activities fell into 3 distinct areas:
  • development of the Earth Information Exchange (EIE) portal for water
  • contributions of ESIP partner data sets in response to the Puget Sound Initiative
  • technology contributions to GEO decision support initiatives (especially in the area of ontology development) (Will Pozzi)

2. Water Quality Exchange (WQX) General Update

Chuck Spooner, EPA Office of Water provided an overview of the Water Quality Exchange (WQX). He first provided background on the STORET data warehouse, an archive of state reported measurements accessible through an xml query. The WQX schema provides for a data and exchange format, which has now been adopted by USGS. EPA and USGS will be combining their query systems (< 1 year away from completion), with NOAA and Agricultural Research Service also interested. EPA's Office of Water is working with USGS and OGC to improve access to real-time data.
Other EPA Data Sources:
  • National Hydrography Dataset (NHD, NHD Plus) is an addressing system for facilities and sampling points
  • Watershed Boundary Data Set provides hydrologic unit codes (HUCs) for subsections of watersheds
Next Steps
  • EPAS's data system is now duplicated using USGS query techniques, with a possibility that a single query system will be used in the future
  • a master water quality portal is in development
  • methods of data analysis with automatic linking is a key priority for EPA data systems
Other Related Activities
  • Berkeley Water Center is working with Microsoft Research to make NWISS and STORET data available through SciScope (an Open Source tool). Will be adding Web 2.0 and 3.0 capabilities.
  • USGS Flow Network is working closely with NOAA
  • Environmental Information Exchange Network grant opportunity - closes Nov. 20 and available to states only

3. Presentation & Discussion of CUASHI Activities

Rick Hooper, CUASHI provided an overview of the Hydroseek (beta) search engine. Hydroseek is an ontology-aided search engine for finding scientific data on water quality and hydrology from approximately 1.9 million sites in the USA. The developers of Hydroseek sare seeking community input into the system, including metadata contributions from academia. The developers of Hydroseek are interested in improving the user search experience and community-built web services for the system.
It was noted that there are many tool building efforts underway and that Bruce Bargmeyer, Bill Sonntag and Chuck Spooner would work together across organizations to understand how such tools might be leveraged.

4. Potential for External Review of EPA OEI Substance Registry System (SRS) chemicals and other terminology related to water

Bill Sonntag wanted to make participants on the call aware of two resources related to the SRS:
  • System of Registries - www.epa.gov/sor
  • Terminolgy - www.epa.gov/etss

5. Solving Ontology Wranglings ala MMI - Liaison with ESIP Semantic Cluster Group

Luis Bermudez (SURA/MMI) provided and overview of the Marine Metadata Initiative (MMI) Ontology Registry and Repository and the Ocean Science Interoperability Experiment. There is a problem of many data sources and limited homogeneity across systems. the MMI project is working on semantic mediation. They have established a community framework for mapping/crosswalking across terminologies used by different systems. The framework includes:
  • Controlled vocabulary creation
  • Registration/storage of vocabularies
  • Metadata association
  • Versioning
  • Semantic query support
  • Term mapping
  • Mapping repository
  • Vocabulary and term URI resolution

The end result is the MMI Ontology Registry and Repository.

Related projects:
Phil Yang inquired how the group would actually integrate ontologies into various tools. This point is the key to success.
George Percivall wanted to note that a sign of maturity for terminology may not be agreeing on the terms rather, a better measure of maturity would be when observations are processed using good vocabularies of observation types.

6. GEOSS Related Activities (in consultation with NASA/NOAA)

George Percivall is the task lead for the GEO Architecture Implementation Pilots (AIP). The AIP attempts to augment the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) through the development of portals, clearinghouses, registries, etc. The AIP seeks Community of Practice-created implementations of the GCI. The AIP3 is in the planning stage, with much interest in a water focus for this round.

7. Topics and Organization for ESIP Winter Meeting (January 2010)

The group agreed that it would be appropriate to work with the ESIP Federation's Semantic Web Cluster to tackle ontology integration. This will be part of the agenda for the November and December telecons.

Action Items

  • Sonntag, Bargmeyer and Spooner to examine existing tools to see what can be leveraged across organizations.
  • Planning for Winter ESIP Federation activities related to water, with Semantic Web Cluster, to work toward ontology integration and a united ontology for the water community
  • Identify ontologies for potential integration
  • Create a testbed for testing out the integration/convergence of water vocabularies
  • Future Telecon Topics
  • GEOSS AIP - possible operational system use of ontologies in a water scenario
  • Dealing with the moving platform of data
  • Future Telecon Dates
  • November 5 at 1 pm (Eastern)
  • December 3 at 1 pm (Eastern)