Geospatial Ontologies

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					Geospatial Ontologies

  By: GIS Concept Learning
       What is an “Ontology?”
   The branch of metaphysics that deals with the
    nature of being - American Heritage Dictionary
   Theories that use a specific vocabulary to
    describe entities, classes, properties and
    functions related to a certain view of the world
       - Frederico Fonseca National Center for Geographic
         Information Analysis, University of Maine
   Organizing general concepts in a universal
   Specification of a conceptualization – (Smith,
    What is Conceptualization?
   System of creating ideas or categories
    which divide a given subject into
    objects, processes and relations
   Religious: God, salvation, sin

   Geographic: objects (definable entities)
                fields (smooth spatial
    Classification of Ontologies
                                       Fonseca et al. 2003

Top level- describe very general concepts

Domain level- describe vocabulary related to
         a generic domain, e.g. remote

Task level- describe a task or activity, e.g.
  image interpretation

Application level- describe user needs of a
                specific application, e.g. habitat
           assessment based on satellite imagery
Example Ontology for Natural

                       University of Georgia
                       Dept. of Computer Science
Example Ontology for Volcanoes

                       University of Georgia
                       Dept. of Computer Science
Example of GIS

                 University of Georgia
                 Dept. of Computer Science
 Why Use a Common Language?

Felis Concolor   •Also Known As:




                 -Mountain Lion

Carbonated, Caffeinated
            -Pop (northern regions)

            -Tonic (northeast U.S.)

            -Soda (southern regions)

            -Coke (deep south)
    Realities Among Data
   Relevant data is often hard to find
    and in incompatible forms.
   Information describing data is often
   Framework data does not exist for
    broad geographic areas.
   Data sharing across organizations is
    Build Relationships Between
          For Multiple Uses

Framework Data              Other Thematic Data

         Land Ownership

         Transportation                Flood Zones
         Surface Waters
                                       Power Grid
                                       Water Lines
         Geodetic Control
                                       Sewer Lines
                                       Gas Lines
         Aerial Imagery
       Benefits of Ontologies
   Communication – defining industry-specific
    terminology into universally accepted
   Systems engineering – identifies
    requirements and inconsistencies in a
   Interoperability – integration of existing
      Establishment of a universally accepted
       definition of a term
      Works as a translator between knowledge
   September, 11th 2001, The United States was
   First foreign attack on U.S. soil since
    December 7th 1941 when then-U.S. territory
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by
    Japanese forces.
   October 8, 2001, Executive Order was signed
    creating the White House Office of Homeland
  FBI definition terrorism

As defined by the FBI, "the unlawful use of
force against persons or property to
intimidate or coerce a government, the
civilian population or any segment
thereof, in the furtherance of political or
social objectives". (FEMA-SS)
     CIA definition of terrorism
   Premeditate, politically motivated
    violence perpetrated against
    noncombatant targets by sub-national
    groups or clandestine agents, usually
    intended to influence an audience
       Homeland Security
Is defined as the deterrence, prevention, and
preemption of, and defense against,
aggression targeted at U.S. territory,
sovereignty, population, and infrastructure as
well as the management of the consequences
of such aggression and other domestic
emergencies. ANSER Institute for Homeland
Homeland Security Ontologies
GIS Promotes Communication
     GIS and Homeland Security
   Risk Assessment and Planning
       Map and identify potential emergency management
   Mitigation
       Development of a detailed, enterprise GIS warehouse. e.g
        (better counterterrorist intelligence, environmental health
        surveillance, and detailed cataloging of hazardous material
        locations and inventory).
   Preparedness
       prepare for the consequences of emergencies that you
        cannot mitigate.
   Response
       Provides real-time geodata (identify the closest fire
        hydrants, electrical panels, hazardous materials,
        emergency exits) necessary to respond to an emergency.
   Recovery
       Short-term- GIS can help provide damage assessment,
        which will assist in restoring vital services.
       Long-term- restore services to a pre-disaster state or
        better. GIS can help prioritize these projects. GIS for Homeland Security-ESRI
GIS and Homeland Security
GIS Promotes Intelligent
                                            Department of Homeland
        Executive Secretary
                                                   Security                                                                                                        Commandant of
                                                                                                                                                                   Coast Guard (1)

         Legislative Affairs

                                                                               Secretary                                                                           Inspector General
           Public Affairs
                                                                          Deputy Secretary                                                                         General Counsel

    State and Local Coordination
                                                                                                                                                                    Civil Rights and
                                                Citizenship &                                                 Director, Bureau of Citizenship                        Civil Liberties
                                             Immigration Service                                               & Immigration Services (1)
  Special Assistant to the Secretary           Ombudsman (1)                                                                                                       Director of the
           (private sector)
                                                                                                                                                                  Secret Service (1)
                                                                                               Small & Disadvantaged
                                                                                                                                        Privacy Officer
National Capital Region Coordination                                                                  Business
                                                        Chief of Staff                                                                                            International Affairs

          Shared Services
                                                                                                                                                                   Counter Narcotics

                                                                                            Under Secretary                                                                Under Secretary
                                                                                                                                           Under Secretary
                 Under Secretary                Under Secretary                        Information Analysis and                                                               Emergency
                                                                                                                                              Border &
                  Management                Science and Technology                      Infrastructure Protection                                                          Preparedness and
                                                                                                                                        Transportation Security

           Note (1): Effective March 1st, 2003
ArcGIS Solutions
        Consulted References
   Environmental Systems Research
    Institute, 2001 GIS for Homeland Security,
    An ESRI White Paper. ESRI Press,
    Redlands, CA. [for some of the diagrams]
   Sheth, A., 2004, Semantic Discovery and
    Risk Analysis for Homeland Security,
    Homeland Security Research Brief LSDIS
    Lab, University of Georgia. [for some of
    the diagrams]

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