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Leveraging VIVO to connect people, instruments, and data semantically in the geosciences: The UNAVCO case study

Version 2 2015-09-15, 15:50
Version 1 2015-08-18, 14:42
posted on 2015-09-15, 15:50 authored by M. Benjamin Gross, Linda R. Rowan, Matthew Mayernik, Jon Corson-Rikert, Huda Khan
Preferred presentation format: Poster 

UNAVCO is a non-profit university-governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy. We plan to leverage and extend VIVO to enable the discovery of connections between people, data, and instrumentation. The UNAVCO case study is part of EarthCollab, a building block grant funded through the EarthCube Program at the National Science Foundation. The EarthCollab project includes a complementary case study at NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL). VIVO provides an attractive alternative to developing a new application in-house. VIVO is open source, can be modified to suit our use case, and has an active implementation and development community. 

VIVO has primarily been utilized as a semantic profiling application for people. As an extendable semantic framework, however, it can be used to profile datasets and instruments. Notably, the Deep Carbon Observatory and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) have used modified implementations of VIVO to manage and display datasets. UNAVCO utilizes a wide variety of instrumentation, such as high precision GPS receivers, terrestrial laser scanning instruments, borehole strainmeters and other geodetic tools. No single existing ontology can describe our instrument arsenal or the large amounts of real time and archived data they produce adequately. We plan to extend the VIVO ontology’s limited support for datasets and instrumentation by incorporating parts of existing ontologies such as SWEET, DCAT, and GCIS, whenever possible. 

UNAVCO is a geodetic facility that supports the research of external collaborators located at hundreds of institutions in the U.S. and abroad. We maintain over 2,000 instruments in the field. Additionally, we host and archive data, provide data services, have begun minting data DOIs, and offer instrument and data support to external researchers. We wish to use VIVO to display enhanced, up-to-date information about UNAVCO collaborators without the responsibility and resource commitment of being yet another canonical database store for their dynamic information, such as position titles and contact details. We will periodically ingest semantic data hosted at their home institution or at a third party (e.g. ORCID), which will be connected to our locally ingested information on datasets and instruments. 

We have made significant progress ingesting datasets and publication data into VIVO. Next, we will finalize a set of ontological terms for instrument and dataset metadata. We will also develop a proof of concept implementation for sharing data between VIVO instances. Following the establishment of sustainable ingest methods, we will develop or adapt extensions to enhance discoverability of geoscience-specific information within VIVO.