Day 4

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Paper title EO4GEO – Towards a multi-vocabulary environment to describe the EO*GI knowledge base
Authors
  1. Danny Vandenbroucke KU Leuven (SADL) Speaker
  2. Rob Lemmens University of Twente (UT-ITC)
  3. Sven Casteleyn University Jaume I
  4. Marc Olijslagers KU Leuven (SADL)
Form of presentation Poster
Topics
  • E1. New actors, stakeholders and Commercial EO
    • E1.04 Space Capacity Building in the XXI Century
Abstract text EO4GEO, the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliance for the space/geoinformation sector has developed an ontology-based Body of Knowledge (BoK) over the past 4 years. This BoK is in practice covering the Earth Observation and Geoinformation (EO*GI) professional domain, much less the upstream part of the space sector (Hofer et al., 2020). It contains concepts – theories, methodologies, technologies, and applications … - that are relevant for the domain and that needs to be covered, amongst others, in education and training activities. The BoK does not only contain those concepts, but also a short abstract or description, the author(s) or contributor(s), the required knowledge and skills in terms of learning outcomes and external references (books, papers, training modules, etc.). Furthermore, the concepts are also related to each other where relevant. Relationships are variable and include ‘sub-concept-of’, ‘pre-requisite’, ‘similar’, etc. (Stelmaszczuk-Górska et al., 2020). The information in the BoK forms the basis for the design of curricula including learning-paths, the annotation of documents such as job descriptions and CV’s, the definition of occupational profiles and much more. An ecosystem of tools has been developed for doing so.
The BoK describes in a certain sense the knowledge base for the EO*GI domain which is, in its own right, a relatively vast domain. But it certainly does not exist in isolation. The sector is by default linked to and intertwined with many other domains that influence each other: engineering, informatics, mathematics, physics, and many other fields. Other technologies (e.g. information science) and businesses & applications (sectorial activities such as maritime transport, insurance, security, agriculture, etc.) are very relevant as well, and influence what happens in the sector. Because the world is continuously changing, the sector is changing too, and so does the knowledge, skills and competencies that are required to help answering the world problems and challenges we face today (Miguel-Lago et al., 2021). As a result, the BoK is a living entity that is continuously evolving.

Figure 1: The EO*GI Science & Technology domain (Vandenbroucke, 2020, based on diBiase et al., 2006)
In the current version of the BoK for EO*GI, the EARSC taxonomy which defines the common ‘language’ of the European Remote Sensing companies has been integrated, strongly linked to their thematic and market view on the domain (EARSC, 2021). So the BoK is certainly not only a scientific, but also a practical tool. Moreover, the aim of the BoK for EO*GI is not to integrate all the concepts of these other domains - that would be a ‘mission impossible’ - but rather try to connect to other BoK’s, vocabularies or ontologies where possible, and vice versa to convince other domains to use a similar approach to describe their domain. In the course of the EO4GEO lifetime, several other sectors have already shown interest in developing an own BoK. The International Cartographic Association (ICA) showed interest, as did the University Consortium on Geographic Information Science in the US (UCGIS). Both are active in the EO*GI field. Also other sectors have shown interest: the European Defence (ASSETs+)) and Automotive sectors (DRIVES), as well as the eGovernment sector that is dealing with the Digital Transformation of Governments (European Commission, 2021).
The idea has grown to evolve towards a series of interconnected vocabularies and ontologies using a similar approach and sharing the same tools. In that way each community can develop their own BoK, but also referring to each other’s concepts, to relevant references, etc. For example, the automotive sector could detail aspects related to Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) which are related to and interesting for the EO*GI sector as well. Instead of developing that sub-domain in the BoK for EO*GI, it could connect to the BoK of the Automotive domain, as well as to the Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) ontology currently developed by ESA.
The paper will present the BoK for EO*GI, its content, as well as how it is maintained through the Living Textbook (LTB) tool. It also presents the results of an extensive exercise to use the same environment for the location enabled Digital Government Transformation (DGT) domain (eGovernment) for which an ontology-based Knowledge Graph has been developed. This was done by using the same environment and text mining tools to identify concepts, definitions and relationships. Moreover, a semi-automated approach was used to search for and identify synonyms (and hyponyms and hypernyms) in other glossaries, vocabularies and ontologies to enrich the Knowledge Graph. It is believed that the resulting interconnected BoK’s will better describe the EO*GI field and will enrich the EO*GI knowledge base.
References
DiBiase, D., DeMers, M., Johnson, A., Kemp, K., Luck, A. T., Plewe, B., Wentz, E., 2006. Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. Association of American Geographers and University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. Washington http://downloads2.esri.com/edcomm2007/bok/GISandT_Body_of_knowledge.pdf (accessed on 8 December 2021).
European Association for Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) (2021). EO Taxonomy. https://earsc-portal.eu/display/EOwiki/EO+Taxonomy.
European Commission (2021). European Location Interoperability Solutions for e-Government (ELISE) Action, part of the ISA² programme, ran by the Joint Research Center. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/collection/elise-european-location-interoperability-solutions-e-government/about
Hofer, B., Casteleyn, S., Aguilar‐Moreno, E., Missoni‐Steinbacher, E. M., Albrecht, F., Lemmens, R., Lang, S., Albrecht, J., Stelmaszczuk-Górska, M., Vancauwenberghe, G., Monfort‐Muriach, A. (2020). Complementing the European earth observation and geographic information body of knowledge with a business‐oriented perspective. Transactions in GIS, 24(3), 587-601. https://doi.org/10.1111/tgis.12628
Miguel-Lago, M., Vandenbroucke, D. and Ramirez, K. (2021). Space / Geoinformation Sector Skills Strategy in Action. Newsletter of EO4GEO: http://www.eo4geo.eu/.
Stelmaszczuk-Górska, M.A., Aguilar-Moreno, E., Casteleyn, S., Vandenbroucke, D., Miguel-Lago, M., Dubois, C., Lemmens, R., Vancauwenberghe, G., Olijslagers, M., Lang, S., Albrecht, F., Belgiu, M., Krieger, V., Jagdhuber, T., Fluhrer, A., Soja, M.J., Mouratidis, A., Persson, H.J., Colombo, R., Masiello, G. (2020). Body of Knowledge for the Earth Observation and Geo-information Sector - A Basis for Innovative Skills Development. Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XLIII-B5-2020, 15–22, https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLIII-B5-2020-15-2020.
Vandenbroucke, D. (2020). On ontology-based Body of Knowledge for GI and EO. Presentation at the joint 2nd EO Summit (EO4GEO) and Eyes-on-Earth Road Show.