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Semantic Technologies are becoming commonplace in the geoscience community. Within this collection of tools, techniques, and methodologies, the ontology is a basic building block. Yet, despite the interest and uptake in semantics, there still exist several challenges to consuming semantic data and reusing existing ontologies.
One challenge is that ontologies can be created by varying means (manual vs auto- mated), varying methodologies (e.g. the Fox and McGuinness method ), and to varying levels of domain and logical expressiveness. Ultimately, the goal is for wide spread uptake and reuse of ontologies. Yet, attempts to describe an entire domain within an ontology have led to difficulties in reuse both within the geosciences and the broader Semantic Web community. It has become apparent over the past few years that common conceptual patterns are repeated in ontologies emerging from different communities and domains. Analogous to using design patterns to create software, the study of Ontology Design Patterns (ODPs) [2,3] advocates the reuse of small modular ontologies as opposed to large ontologies de- scribing full domain areas. This modularizing of ontologies into reusable patterns (ODPs) enhances reuse and simplifies interoperability issues . Not surprisingly, Linked Data [5, 6], which is based on data published and consumed against ontology schema, have also not seen as much consumption as would be liked.
Recent research  has shown that ODPs can also be beneficial in facilitating more, and easier, Linked Data consumption. The ODP research area is new and the basic benefits of ODPs are just now beginning to be validated in the broader Semantic Web community. At present, limited validation within the geosciences has occurred.
Linked Data and ontologies are at the heart of the ESIP's Semantic Web Committee’s Strategic Vision and Road Map. This ESIP funded testbed project will provide crucial initial feedback regarding the benefits of ODPs in geoscience data publication and consumption.
 http://tw.rpi.edu/web/doc/TWC SemanticWebMethodology
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