Ontology based Semantic Metadata for GeoScience Data

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In Geoscience domain, large amounts of data are accessible, however they vary in formats and are stored at various organizations leading to problems of data discovery, data interoperability and usability. In this paper, we propose a new semantic metadata paradigm based on ontologies and the use of Semantic Web languages. Our suggested data model ontology is used to guide the generation of metadata for individual datasets. This data model ontology defines elements to incorporate information about data identification, spatial extent, temporal extent, data presentation form, data content and data distribution regarding the dataset. Combining domain specific ontologies with this data model ontology offers a new approach to the generation of semantic metadata for datasets. The system allows the data provider to select concepts from domain ontologies that best describe the content within the dataset. This selection along with the links to domain ontologies is stored within the metadata file, thereby generating semantic metadata for the dataset. This metadata is capable of facilitating the end users of data with content based discovery of datasets irrespective of their locations and formats.