Harmonizing GCW Cryosphere Vocabularies with ENVO and SWEET: Towards a General Model for Semantic Harmonization

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Ruth Duerr, Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Gary Berg-Cross, Kai Lewis Blumberg, brandon whitehead , Nancy Wiegand, Kate Rose


This paper presents the specific process we, as part of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Semantic Harmonization Cluster, used to harmonize terms from the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) compilation of cryospheric terms with the Semantic Web for Earth and Environmental Terminology (SWEET) and the Environment Ontology (ENVO). In addition, we summarize a number of leading practices which may be applied to other projects/domains as well as suggest a generalized process for doing so. This paper describes the history of the effort, the technical and decision-making processes used to resolve differences between semantic resources, and describes a number of the issues encountered, with a focus on those that were addressed during the effort. Lessons learned, examples of the problems encountered and a summary of resulting leading practices growing out of this work is provided as an aid to semantic harmonization efforts in other domains by other groups.




Databases and Information Systems, Geomorphology, Glaciology, Other Earth Sciences


Semantics, Semantic Harmonization, Lessons Learned, FAIR data, Leading Practices, Cryosphere, ontology


Published: 2023-05-17 20:03

Last Updated: 2023-12-22 11:51

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International