Semantic linking of complex properties, monitoring processes and facilities in web-based representations of the environment
Where a virtual representation of the Earth must contain data values observed within the physical Earth system, data models are required that allow the integration of data across the silos of various Earth and environmental sciences domains. Creating a mapping between the well-defined terminologies of these silos is a stubborn problem. This paper presents a generalised ontology for use within Web 3.0 services, which builds on European Commission spatial data infrastructure models. The presented ontology acknowledges that there are many complexities to the description of environmental properties which can be observed within the physical Earth system. The ontology is shown to be flexible and robust enough to describe concepts drawn from a range of Earth science disciplines, including ecology, geochemistry, hydrology and oceanography. This paper also demonstrates the alignment and compatibility of the ontology with existing systems and shows applications in which the ontology may be deployed.