International Geologiical Congress - Oslo 2008

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IEI-06 Data models and architectures

 

Standardization of data elements: a primary step for a geological and mineral ontology

 

Xiaogang Ma, International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) (Netherlands)
Chonglong Wu, China University of Geosciences (China)
Freek van der Meer, International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) (Netherlands)
John Carranza, International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) (Netherlands)
 

 

Great efforts have been carried out in the digitization of geological and mineral exploration datasets in recent decades, which lead to a great deal of databases, whereas people are also puzzled by the interoperation and sharing of encoding systems, models, relationships and structures within these databases. The standardization of terms and classified encoding technologies is a primary way to solve this problem, in which the fundamental work is focused on data elements. The standardization of data elements is based on the normative classification of information and reveals the inherent disciplines, hence makes the data elements the basic structural data units according to a set of regulations. The ISO standards define a Data Element as a unit of data for which the definition, identification, representation and permissible values are specified by means of a set of attributes. To solve the attribute conflicts among different datasets, a data element theory suggests a standardization scheme from the minimum unit, and sets up the basis for data integration and sharing. Comparing to the terminology classification codes, the standards of data elements take more consideration in the standardization of attributes of objects. The results of data elements include not only the classification codes, but also the inside and outside relationships among data units. The work can classify and organize these complex and ruleless data from different aspects, and form hierarchical relationships, which reflect the deep meaning of data. Data elements achieve a primary step for a geological and mineral ontology, for an ontology is the conceptual specification of essential entities and also reveals the relationships among concepts. The expatiation and application of an ontology needs formalized language, syntax and specified semantics, which are just the roles of data elements. The study of geological and mineral exploration consists of quite a few disciplines and subjects. Correspondingly, the ontologies in this area can apply object-oriented method, and appear as classes. After proper packaging, the classes of the ontology can be referenced directly, in which the inner structure, the classification and encoding system of data elements and the relationships among different classes can all be inherited. This can be applied in the integration and reusing of codes, models and structures among massive datasets.

 

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