Open Service Network for Marine Environmental Data

  • Adam Leadbetter ( is a data scientist at the British Oceanographic Data Centre specialising in the development of knowledge organisation systems.
  • Olly Clements ( is a developer at the British Oceanographic Data Centre specialising in the deployment of interoperable web services for the delivery of knowledge organisation systems.
  • Anthony Patterson ( is a systems architect at the Coastal & Marine Research Centre, University of Cork.
  • Roy Lowry ( is the technical director of the British Oceanographic Data Centre and has over twenty years experience in the development of semantic technologies for interoperable data and metadata.
George Fox Lt2
Thu, 28/07/2011

The European Union Framework Programme 7 project NETMAR (Open service network for marine environmental data) aims to develop a pilot European Marine Information System for searching, downloading and processing remotely sensed, in-situ and model data from the ocean and coastal areas. As part of this effort, NETMAR aims to document the architecture of the resulting system to a standard suitable for submission to a standards body.

Underpinning this pilot system will be a coherent network of semantic knowledge describing the marine environmental sciences domain. The NETMAR project does not have the resources to build this semantic resource from scratch, and therefore it should be built on existing resources representing a range of nodes on the semantic spectrum. The semantic spectrum is a series of increasingly precise, semantically expressive definitions for data elements in knowledge representations, especially for machine use. At the low end of the spectrum is a simple binding of a single word or phrase and its definition.  At the high end is a full ontology that specifies relationships between data elements using precise Uniform Resource Identifiers for relationships and properties. Mappings between these existing resources will allow the emerging semantic resource to represent a node higher on the semantic spectrum than the individual existing resource currently occupy. The semantic network should also allow the pilot system to work with some degree of multilingualism. This presentation describes the steps taken to delivering this semantic network.

NETMAR Research Project Symposium Session (Part 1) at ECOOP 2011. from Phil Greenwood on Vimeo.

NETMAR Research Project Symposium Session (Part 2) at ECOOP 2011 from Phil Greenwood on Vimeo.

Target Audience: 

The target audience for this research project symposium contribution is any conference attendee interested in the development of semantic resources, the emergence of standards for access to semantic resources and those who are interested in ontology extension. The architecture presentation is aimed at researchers and practitioners attempting to apply architectural principles in order to produce robust and repeatable system architectures in a lightweight and iterative fashion.

Outline of Sessions: 
  • Morning (11am -- 12.30pm): Presentations:
    • Need for and realisation of semantic resources
    • Building applications on top of the NETMAR API
    • Emerging standards in programmatic access to semantic resources
    • NETMAR system architecture
  • Afternoon (2pm -- 3pm): Practical experiences with NETMAR and its applications
  • 3pm -- 3.30pm: Discussions and Networking
NETMAR.pdf262.99 KB