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We are currently planning a GeoVoCamp as follow-up to the 2009 and 2011 Vocamps in Washington D.C. and the 2011 GeoVoCamp in Southampton, UK. The GeoVoCamp will take place 3-5 February 2012 in Santa Barbara, California to bring the events to the West Coast as well.

NEW: There will be a follow-up event in Dayton, OH in September 2012 and also in Santa Barbara in spring of 2013; see [1]


The Santa Barbara 2012 GeoVoCamp will focus on geo-ontology design patterns and bottom-up, data-driven semantics. We will investigate two types of features: (i) Micro-scale features and their types. We will look at Points of Interest as used in mobile applications, recommendation systems, Volunteered Geographic Information, and Location-Based Social Networks. We hope that this part especially attracts GIScience people as well as others working on mobile computing, the mobile and social Semantic Web, as well as on sensor semantics. (ii) Meso-scale features and their types. We hope to continue the work on ontologies for landforms and land use classes. Instead of a purely top-down driven approach based on foundational ontologies, we would like to include bottom-up approaches and geo-ontology design patterns as well and continue the work that was started on the WDC 2011 GeoVoCamp on topographic eminences etc. We hope this part will additionally attract people working on remote sensing, standardization, digital gazetteers, digital earth research, and semantic web researchers interested in cultural-heritage or geographic data in general. Finally, and thanks to Karl Grossner, we will also try to develop patterns for the temporal domain, e.g., for use in semantically-enabled historical GIS.

Of course, and most importantly, the GeoVoCamp is free and open to everybody with an interest in geo-ontologies, spatial semantics (with and without geo), Linked Spatiotemporal Data and the Geospatial Semantic Web. The Santa Barbara GeoVoCamp is co-aligned with another camp in Spain.


The GeoVocamp will take place 3-5 February 2012. To ensure that the meeting is productive and we get some real outcomes we hope that you can stay Saturday and Sunday (4-5 February). We will start Friday 2pm with an informal get together and discussions for those of you who arrive on Thursday or Friday and will kick off the GeoVoCamp Saturday 9am. We will close the event around Sunday 4pm.


We booked a main room (McCune Conference Room) and two smaller conference rooms (Crowell Reading Room and IHC Research Seminar Room) for breakout sessions for the 4-5 February. The Vocamp will take place at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center 6046 HSSB. UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7100 which is 5 minutes walking distance from the Ocean as well as the UCen food court. Use the entrance next to the parking lots and the events center or you will have to search access to the 6th floor :-). The meeting on Friday the 3rd will take place at Ellison Hall, which is also located on the UCSB campus. See the campus map for more details. Please note that the Big Data GIScience panel will be at 1930 Buchanan Hall.

For information about parking spaces see the interactive parking map at [2]. Most spaces are metered parking.


We hope to develop at least one geo-ontology design pattern for each of the three domains, i.e., micro-scale features centered on POI, meso-scale features focusing on landscapes or administrative divisions, and a temporal pattern centered around the interaction of events with places. The team of organizers will prepare a template for documentation and at least one organizer will be present in each breakout group to take notes. We hope that by using this template we can come up with a joint publication by all participants documenting out results and implementing them for use by a wider community.

Big Data in GIScience Panel[edit]

The GeoVocamp will kick off with an open panel to discuss the arising research challenges for Geographic Information Science in the Big Data age. It is organized as part of the Golledge Distinguished Lectureship of the Geography Department. The Big Data GIScience panel will take place Friday 3rd, 2012 4:30pm-6:00 in 1930 Buchanan.

The rapidly increasing information universe with new data created at a speed surpassing our capacities to store it, calls for improved methods to retrieve, filter, integrate, and share data. The vision of a Big Data science hopes that the open availability of data with a higher spatial, temporal, and thematic resolution will enable us to better address complex scientific and social questions. However, on the downside, understanding, sharing, and reusing these data becomes more challenging. Big Data is not only big because it involves a huge amount of data, but also because of the high-dimensionality and inter-linkage of the involved data sets. The on-the-fly integration of heterogeneous data from various sources has been named one of the frontiers of Digital Earth research, Bioinformatics, the Digital Humanities, and other emerging research visions.


* Isabel Cruz, University of Illinois, USA
* Mark Gahegan, University of Auckland, New Zealand
* Mike Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
* Werner Kuhn, University of Muenster, Germany
* Mark Schildhauer, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
* Pascal Hitzler, Wright State University, USA
* (Krzysztof Janowicz (moderator), University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)


The program is not fixed and will remain flexible to a certain degree. The following schedule is just to give you a better impression of the strucutre of the GeoVocamp:

Friday 3rd February 2012
2:00pm - 3:30 Meeting of the organizers at 5806 Ellison Hall to finalize the program (open, feel free to join)
4:30pm - 6:00 Panel 'Big Data GIScience' at 1930 Buchanan to kick off the GeoVocamp
~ Snacks and drinks during and after the panel
Saturday 4th February 2012 (McCune Conference Room)
9:00am - 9:30 Introduction of participants and the goals of the GeoVocamp (summary from GeoVoCampMadrid2012)
9:30am - 10:30 Observation driven ontology and the 3 proto-patterns
10:30am -11:00 Decide on geo-ontology design patterns and breakout groups
11:00pm - 12:00 Breakout groups work on patterns
12:00pm - 1:30 Lunch
1:30pm - 4:30 Breakout groups work on patterns
4:30pm - ~5:00 Reports from the groups
5:00pm - 6:00 Organizers discuss outcomes and directions (open, feel free to join)
7pm -- Dinner (in small groups)
Sunday 5th February 2012 (McCune Conference Room)
9:00am - 9:30 Brief recap
9:30am - 12:00 Breakout groups work on pattern alignment
12:00pm - 1:00 Lunch
1:00pm - 1:30 Reports from the groups
1:30pm - ~3:00 Documentation and discussion
[Watch Super Bowl XLVI downtown, if you like to]
TBA Organizers discuss outcomes and directions (open, feel free to join)

[Do not worry, coffee and snacks will be available all the time; this is an informal event you can chat with your colleagues (and check your emails) at any time. Therefore, we will not have fixed coffee breaks.]

Accommodations and Transportation[edit]

There are many nice places to stay in Santa Barbara, especially the Upham hotel. However, if you want to be closer to the UCSB campus and not pay more than $90-120 then the Best Western South Coast Inn in Goleta is a good option and less than 10 minutes driving from UCSB.Public transportation information is available at: [3] .


Please add your name here to help us planning, you can change your mind at any time and also indicate whether you will participate for sure or just maybe. You can also indicate that you cannot make it but would like share thoughts and experience via the wiki. Due to the available rooms we have to limit the vocamp to 30 participants (looks like the 30 slots are full; we will make sure to have additional space -- just add your name to help us organizing).


(The numbering does not imply any order but is just due to the room limitation)

  1. Krzysztof Janowicz (UCSB) --> POI, micro-scale features pattern
  2. Karl Grossner (Stanford University, US) --> events & activity pattern
  3. Gaurav Sinha (Ohio University, US) --> land use/cover, meso-scale features pattern
  4. Todd Pehle (Orbis Technologies, US)
  5. Amit Krishna Joshi (Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University, US)
  6. Yingjie Hu (UCSB)


(We will resort the list from time to time to put those that will be there for sure on top.)

  1. Werner Kuhn (University of Muenster, Germany)
  2. Pascal Hitzler (Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University, US)
  3. E. Lynn Usery (U.S. Geological Survey)
  4. Ben Adams (UCSB)
  5. Sven Schade (EC-JRC, Italy)
  6. Mike Goodchild (UCSB) (3 & 4. February)
  7. Simon Scheider (University of Muenster, Germany)
  8. Gary Berg-Cross (SOCoP, US)
  9. Steve Liang (University of Calgary, Canada)
  10. Helen Couclelis (UCSB)
  11. Linna Li (UCSB)
  12. Isabel Cruz (University of Illlinois, US)
  13. Dan Montello (UCSB) (3 & 5. February)
  14. Dave Kolas (BBN, US)
  15. Kitty Currier (UCSB)
  16. Elijah Meeks (Stanford University, US)
  17. Mark Gahegan (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
  18. Alec (Chih-Yuan) Huang (University of Calgary, Canada)
  19. Mark Schildhauer (NCEAS at UCSB) (Panel; maybe GeoVoCamp)
  20. Grant McKenzie (UCSB)
  21. Jiue-An (Jay) Yang (SDSU)
  22. Michela Teobaldi (University of Siena, Italy - UCSB)
  23. Kripa Joshi
  24. Wenwen Li (UCSB)
  25. Piotr Jankowski(SDSU) (Friday and Saturday)
  26. Dalia E Varanka (USGS)
  27. Rob Raskin (NASA/JPL)
  28. Dan Goldberg (USC) (Saturday)

Not sure[edit]

  1. Andrew Frank (TU Wien, Austria) (if time permits)
  2. David Mark (State University of New York at Buffalo) (if time permits)
  3. Keith Clarke (UCSB) (if time permits)
  4. Ming-Hsiang Tsou (SDSU) (if time permits)
  5. Piotr Jankowski (SDSU) (if time permits)
  6. Barry Smith (State University of New York at Buffalo) (if time permits)
  7. Boyan Brodaric (Geological Survey of Canada) (if time permits)
  8. Leif Isaksen (Southampton) (if time and money permit)
  9. Dan Dye (WeoGeo) (if time permits)

Would like to, but can't[edit]

  1. Mike Dean
  2. Carsten Keßler (University of Münster) – will try to make it, but most likely won't
  3. Tomi Kauppinen (University of Münster) – would be great to join, but not sure if it fits with other plans
  4. Marco Neumann most likely will be at SemTech Berlin that week
  5. Oscar Corcho (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) - I will not be able to go there..., teaching those days
  6. Boris Villazon-Terrazas (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) - will be attending the GeoVoCampMadrid2012
  7. Andreas Harth (KIT) - will be attending the GeoVoCampMadrid2012

(Add your name)


Please make sure to document all discussions in detail using the wiki, etherpads, and test your patterns using freebase (or any other source of real data).

NEW: All documentations, examples, slides, and OWL code are shared online by the participants using a dropbox. A final documentation with code and examples is scheduled for late summer 2012.

Points Of Interest Geo-Pattern[edit]

(create a wiki subpage to avoid editing conflicts) notes that need to be cleaned up. The first version of the affordance-driven place pattern is available here (as of Feb 2012).

Observed Event Geo-Pattern[edit]

Preliminary Notes and Outcomes

A possible approach to a Motion and Path design pattern based on the PATH image schema[edit]

This topic started out as a consideration of Meso-scale phenomena which can encompass a wide range of moderately sized or regional extent phenomena (e.g., state, lake, route, mountain, wetland,watersheds).

These an be contrasted with much larger macro-scale (e.g., continent, ocean, mountain range) or small-scale proto-object phenomena such as we encounter early in human development(e.g., dogs, building, well, waterfall, hilltop). Falling between the two extremes, meso-scale is an important topic to consider formailizing.

One challenge with Meso-scale categories/types are they they are subject to semantic ambiguity and varying levels of specificity (vagueness?). A classic example is that of mountain and attempts to define its nature, which was broaced at an ealier Vocamp in DC in 2011. The current session is somewhat of a follow up to that session which considered the idea of "paths" especially as part of motion. We quickly realized that we might develop a more general, scale-free model for motion and Path.

Our approach was to focus on the commonsense use to capture the most generic and abstract sense of the category/type. We looked for some bottom up cognitive grounding and followed the UCSB GeoVoCamp themes to develop observation-driven ontology.

For example our Observable (but optional) Elements of a Motion Event included:

• name • moving object • start event (may or may not be a motion) • end event (may or may not be a motion) • motion description • path (see separate pattern) • transported object • is part of (a motion) • has part (a motion) • reference frame notes

Among our notes on this, all slots are optional and can occur multiply.

Observable Elements of our Path Object:

• name • start object • end object • path description (can be specialized to geometry in geospatial paths) • medium (through which the path runs) • surface (on which the path lies) • is part (of a path) • has part (a path)

See [ slides ] from the session along with the developed [ Motion ontology pattern expressed in Turtle]. The patterns and work will soon be more fully documented on a permanent page.

For relevant backgroundwork see: Kuhn, W., 2007. An Image-Schematic Account of Spatial Categories. Spatial Information Theory, 8th International Conference, COSIT 2007. Melbourne, Australia: Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4736: 152-168 Sunday, February 5, 12.


Our Santa Barbara GeoVoCamp is co-organized with another GeoVoCamp that takes place in Spain, visit their wiki page and check for results.

Workshop on GIScience in the Big Data Age 2012[edit]

Workshop on GIScience in the Big Data Age 2012