- Published: 02 September 2012 02 September 2012
The last issue of the ICAN newsletter (Volume One, Number 1, March 2012) outlined the need for technical training material for costal web atlas developers in the form of cookbooks, and how the NETMAR project has produced cookbooks to contribute to this training material. In June 2012, the NETMAR team has revised and updated these cookbooks based on feedback. The cookbooks explain key information behind NETMAR’s ICAN demonstration pilot. Central to these cookbooks is material to help atlas developers connect to the International Coastal Web Atlas (ICWA) prototype. It is a prototype atlas mediator that provides a common interface for accessing distributed local atlases, such as MIDA (Marine Irish Digital Atlas), OCA (Oregon Coastal Atlas), Washington Coastal Atlas (WCA), etc. It uses a knowledge organization system to improve data discovery by exploiting the semantics of keywords and allowing users to search data by “meaning” rather than by “mere keywords”.
Four cookbooks are included which covers key material concerning the technologies and standards utilised by the ICWA prototype:
- Understanding Semantics;
- Understanding Metadata;
- Establishing a CSW metadata catalogue with GeoNetwork; and
- Connecting your Atlas to the ICWA prototype.
The “Understanding Semantics” cookbook provides a tutorial for those who wish to investigate and make use of semantic web and knowledge organization system technologies. These technologies fall broadly into three groups: vocabularies, thesauri and ontologies. This cookbook includes material explaining how to deploy semantics that are required by the ICWA prototype, utilising the NERC Vocabulary Server (NVS) infrastructure.
The “Understanding Metadata” cookbook provides a tutorial for those who wish to understand metadata. Included is a description of metadata and why we need it, metadata standards in use today, description of different metadata hierarchy levels, and a list of some metadata editing tools available. The section also references example metadata records aimed at system developers who are familiar with ISO 19115/19119 metadata implemented in ISO 19139 XML. These metadata examples include semantic keywords which are registered in the NVS.
The “Establishing a CSW metadata catalogue with GeoNetwork opensource” cookbook provides a tutorial for those who wish to understand CSW (Catalog Services for the Web) metadata catalogues. Included is a description of a metadata catalogue, the CSW standard, and a list of selected CSW servers. The document also contains initial pointers to establishing a CSW server using GeoNetwork open source and examples of selected CSW query operations aimed at system developers. GeoNetwork is recommended and used by the NETMAR project.
The “Connecting your Atlas to the ICWA prototype” cookbook provides a step-by-step guide explaining how to connect a local atlas as a node in the ICWA prototype utilising technologies and standards described in the other cookbooks. This cookbook specifies the ICWA connection requirements including metadata (ISO 19115/19119/19139), CSW metadata catalogues (CSW 2.0.2, ISO Metadata Application Profile version 1.0.0), and supported ISO 19139 encoding forms for semantic keywords.
The four cookbooks are available in a single PDF file that is currently located at: http://netmar.nersc.no/sites/netmar.nersc.no/files/D7.9.2_ICAN_semantic_cookbooks_r2_20120731_0.pdf
Please get in touch with Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) if you wish to give feedback.
International Coastal Web Atlas prototype
The Geomatics team of the CMRC, University College Cork (UCC), in partnership with the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), are currently developing the third version of the International Coastal Web Atlas (ICWA) prototype as part of the EU FP7 NETMAR project. ICWA 3 will replace the current ICAN prototype and aims to become an operational web application that allows seamless and semantically enabled access to the ICAN atlases.
ICWA 3, which will be released by the end of October 2012, will include the following features and improvements since version 2:
- a standardised semantic resource structure based on SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System);
- an advanced thesaurus browser that displays term hierarchies, related terms, definitions, synonyms, etc. (Figure 1);
- smart search;
- the ability to connect an atlas without requirements for ontology development;
- improved storage and management of ontologies with faster access;
- a standardised semantic web service (SWS) will allow external applications to interact with the ICAN thesauri;
- support for Catalog Service for the Web (CSW) 2.0.1 and CSW 2.0.2 nodes,
- support for CSW 2.0.2 queries; and
- improved search performance.