Alignment to OBOE

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Proposal for text relating to OBOE alignment, per ISSUE-150. (Raised in meeting )

9. Alignment to OBOE

This section is non-normative.

This section introduces the alignment of SOSA/SSN to OBOE [OBOE].

OBOE: The Extensible Observation Ontology, is used within the biodiversity community for semantic representation of observation data DataONE. The ontology is composed of multiple modules. The core observation elements are in the module OBOE-core.


The following namespace prefixes are used in the alignment to SOSA.

Prefix Namespace

Class alignments

An oboe-core:Observation is composed of a collection of oboe-core:Measurements with the same feature-of-interest. Each oboe-core:Measurement concerns a distinct observed-property ("characteristic") and uses a distinct procedure ("protocol"). We therefore choose to align sosa:Observation with oboe-core:Measurement.

Core classes from the OBOE observation model
Core SOSA observation model

The primary classes from [OBOE] are aligned with SOSA classes as follows:

oboe-core:Measurement subclass of sosa:Observation
oboe-core:Characteristic equivalent class sosa:ObservableProperty
oboe-core:Protocol equivalent class sosa:Procedure

The class oboe-core:Entity appears in OBOE as the range of the oboe-core:ofEntity and oboe-core:hasValue properties, so we interpret it as a general superclass.

sosa:FeatureOfInterest subclass of oboe-core:Entity
sosa:Result subclass of oboe-core:Entity

Property alignments

The following properties from [OBOE] may be directly aligned with SOSA properties:

oboe-core:ofCharacteristic equivalent property sosa:observedProperty
oboe-core:hasValue sub-property of sosa:hasResult
oboe-core:usesProtocol sub-property of sosa:usedProcedure
oboe-core:usesMethod sub-property of sosa:usedProcedure

oboe-core:hasValue, oboe-core:usesProtocol and oboe-core:usesMethod are sub-properties of the corresponding SOSA properties which apply to actuation and sampling as well as observation.

The feature-of-interest is linked to the oboe-core:Observation that contains a oboe-core:Measurement, rather than to the oboe-core:Measurement directly, so a property-chain axiom is required to express the alignment.

sosa:hasFeatureOfInterest property-chain axiom [oboe-core:measurementFor, oboe-core:ofEntity]

The properties oboe-core:hasMeasurement and its inverse oboe-core:measurementFor link an oboe-core:Observation to its member oboe-core:Measurements. These could be modeled as sub-properties related to rdfs:member as follows:

oboe-core:hasMeasurement sub-property of rdfs:member
oboe-core:measurementFor sub-property of [ owl:inverseOf rdfs:member ]

An RDF file containing a graph corresponding to this alignment is available.

OBOE References

Madin, J., S. Bowers, M. Schildhauer, S. Krivov, D. Pennington, and F. Villa. 2007. An ontology for describing and synthesizing ecological observation data. Ecological Informatics 2:279–296. doi:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2007.05.004

Mark Schildhauer, Matthew B. Jones, Shawn Bowers, Joshua Madin, Sergeui Krivov, Deana Pennington, Ferdinando Villa, Benjamin Leinfelder, Christopher Jones, and Margaret O'Brien. 2016. OBOE: the Extensible Observation Ontology, version 1.1. KNB Data Repository. doi:10.5063/F11C1TTM