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This event will be a follow-up of several GeoVoCamps, specialists meetings, and workshops that took place between 2010 and 2014 with the motivation to take the work on geospatial semantics to the next level. During the GeoVoCamp we will jointly work on a set of (geo-)ontology design patterns, vocabularies, micro-ontologies, best practice guides, examples, software, and services, that aim to foster semantic interoperability between different (Linked Data) sources without restricting semantic heterogeneity at the same time. As a GeoVoCamp this event is open to everybody interested in (geo)spatial semantics, geo-ontologies, linked spatiotemporal data, interoperability, the future of spatial data infrastructures, and so forth.


During this year's Santa Barbara GeoVoCamp we (organizers) suggest to address the following projects and topics. Of course, as usual for a GeoVoCamp (as an unconference, the program is not fixed beforehand. In the initial session we will collect all topics participants will be interested in working on, and each topic (whether it's on the list below or not) which finds more than one person to work on, can be worked on.

Potential topics:

  1. Work on ontology design patterns for Life-cycle assessment (LCA) and industrial ecology in general
  2. Continue work from the Washington DC Geovocamp Dec/2014.
  3. Finish the map legend ontology design pattern
  4. Report and future work (e.g., alignment) wrt. the material transformation pattern
  5. More on tasks/events/activities?
  6. EarthCube GeoLink patterns (?)
  7. (add your topic here)
  8. ...


Ontologies can be engineered in different ways, to suit particular purposes. For example:

1. To some, ontology creation is all about the underlying philosophy. Meta (and sometimes meta-meta) models of the process of science are proposed and then sometimes anchored into Dolce or similar. This can lead to confusion since domain scientists are not familiar with academic ontology principles.

2. To others, ontologies are created by in-depth study of a domain, and interaction with domain scientists to extract highly-detailed, specialized semantics that captures some of this deep knowledge. The complex ontologies that result may represent their target community but typically do not generalize or harmonize well.

Having experienced some of the drawbacks and frustrations of these two approaches, some of us are looking for an alternative path that provides some of the power of #2 and rigor of #1 without the inherent complexity or lack of generality. The compromise approach that characterizes GeoVoCamps is to try to create small, reusable ontological fragments that have high utility, but are easy to instantiate and to understand. This way we can hope to 'capture' more linked data resources without massive ontological engineering effort which may not be sustainable.

So while there is clear value to strong philosophical and deep domain approaches, our emphasis here is clearly on utility, and it is this approach that we hope to take during the workshop.


The GeoVocamp will take place March 23-25, 2015. We will start at Monday 9am and run until about Wednesday 3pm. To ensure that the meeting is productive and we get some real outcomes we hope that you can stay for the full event.


We booked a main room (McCune Conference Room) and two smaller conference rooms (Crowell Reading Room and IHC Research Seminar Room) for breakout sessions. 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 :-). Check the interactive campus map for more details.

For information about parking spaces see the interactive parking map at [1]. Most spaces are metered parking.

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 $90-150 then the Best Western South Coast Inn in Goleta is a good option and less than 10 minutes driving from UCSB. There is also a brand new Courtyard by Marriott in Goleta (~$120-200) that is about 7 min driving (or 30 min walking) from UCSB. Public transportation information is available at: [2].


Santa Barbara is known for its high density of restaurants. You can get decent breakfast, lunch, and dinner nearly everywhere. If you are not sure where to go, just say on State Street and you will have several good choices. The following is a short (biased and incomplete) list of places we recommend: If you like great tapas and drinks Milk & Honey is a nice place to go. Seafood fans may want to go to the Hungry Cat or Brophy Bros located directly at the harbor. If you get there before 6:30pm, the Boathouse has a spectacular view and is the best spot to watch the sun go down directly over the ocean (only in the winter and spring). Excellent mediterranean cuisine is served at the Cadiz, while the best place for Middle Eastern food is the Zaytoon which offers great, heated outdoor seating. If you prefer Italian cuisine, there are many great options in town, e.g., Via Maestra 42, Olio Pizzeria and especially Trattoria Mollie (with a chance of seeing some celebrities). I was told that the Bouchon has excellent French cuisine. Zen Yai Thai Cuisine is another great place to go, as is the Arlington Tavern (don't get confused by the name). If you stay in Goleta and prefer a casual place to get food and beer, the Hollister Brewing Company is a good choice. The Blush is another nice palce to combine good food with drinks and a lounge atmosphere (sit outside). Free popcorn and a wide selection of drinks are served at the Mercury in Goleta. Finally, Arigato Sushi is an excellent place for Sushi and Japanese cuisine (if you are in a small group of not more than 4 people). As with most other places, you can also sit outside and watch the sky. Leaving the Hungry Cat aside, all of those places offer multiple vegetarian dishes. If you prefer vegan food, check the Sojourner Cafe. Note, that finding a table for a group of more than 6, will be difficult (or impossible) between 5:30pm and 7:30pm.


The program is not fixed and will remain flexible to a certain degree (this is a key feature of vocamps, not a bug). The following schedule is just to give you a better impression of the strucutre of the GeoVocamp:

Monday 23 March 2015 (McCune Conference Room)
9:15am - 9:45 Introduction of participants, the goals of the GeoVocamp, and the previous DC-Camp (Gary Berg-Cross [slides] & Krzysztof Janowicz) [Slides]
9:45am - 10:00 Ontology Engineering at VoCamps (Krzysztof Janowicz) [Slides]
10:00am - 10:15 Ontology Design Patterns in OceanLink and GeoLink (Pascal Hitzler) [slides (pdf)]
10:15am - 10:30 Material Transformation Pattern (Charles Vardeman) [slides (pdf)]
10:30am - 10:45 Short break
10:15am - 10:30 Life Cycle Assesment in a Nutshell (Sangwon Suh)
10:30am - 10:45 Semantic Challenges for LCA (Brandon Kuczenski)
10:45am - 12:00 Agree on breakout groups and patterns
12:00pm - 1:00 Lunch (update: lunch 1-2pm)
1:00pm - 3:00 Breakout groups work on patterns
3:00pm - 3:15 Short break (update: lunch 4-4:15pm)
3:15pm - 4:00 Reports from the groups (update: lunch 4:15-5pm)
4:00pm - 5:00 Breakout groups work on incorporating feedback
7pm -- Dinner (in small groups or together)
Tuesday 24 March 2015 (McCune Conference Room)
9:30am -9:50 Semantic Technologies at EPA (Wesley Ingwersen) [slides (pdf)]
9:50am - 10:00 Brief recap
10:00am - 12:00 Breakout groups work on patterns
12:00pm - 1:00 Lunch
1:00pm - 2:15 Breakout groups work on patterns
2:15pm - 3:00 Reports from the groups
3:00pm - 4:30 Breakout groups work on patterns implementation
4:30pm - 5:00 Implementation reports
6:30pm -- Dinner [Zaytoon] 17 people ($25+ per person); we have a fixed reservation, please join us if you raised your hand on Monday
Wednesday 25 March 2015 (McCune Conference Room)
9:30am -9:50 Pattern Views (Adila Krisnadhi)
9:50am - 10:00 General Narrative: What is the Purpose? (Johan Tivander) [slides]
10:00am - 11:30 Breakout groups work on examples (with real data)
11:30pm - 12:30 Lunch
12:30pm - 1:00 Big Picture and Material Transformation Alignment (Gary Berg-Cross & Charles Vardeman)
1:00pm - 2:00 Breakout groups work on brief documentation
2:00pm - 2:30 Final reports and outlook

[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.]


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 35 participants.


(The numbering does not imply any order but is just for keeping count for room capacities)

  1. Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  2. Pascal Hitzler (Wright State University, US)
  3. Gary Berg-Cross (SOCoP, US)
  4. Charles Vardeman (University of Notre Dame, US)
  5. Brandon Kuczenski (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  6. Sangwon Suh (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  7. Wesley Ingwersen (EPA, US)

Local Contact Person[edit]

  1. Yingjie Hu (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  2. Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)


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

  1. Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  2. Pascal Hitzler (Wright State University, US)
  3. Gary Berg-Cross (SOCoP)
  4. Charles Vardeman (University of Notre Dame, US)
  5. Brandon Kuczenski (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  6. Wesley Ingwersen (EPA, US)
  7. Sangwon Suh (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  8. Yingjie Hu (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  9. Yiting Ju (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  10. Nazifa Karima (Wright State University, US)
  11. David E. Meyer (EPA, US)
  12. Michelle Cheatham (Wright State University, US)
  13. Song Gao (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  14. Adila Krisnadhi (Wright State University, US)
  15. Werner Kuhn (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  16. Marcela Suarez (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  17. Andrea Ballatore (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  18. Bo Pedersen Weidema (Aalborg University, Denmark)
  19. Sarah Cashman (Franklin Associates, A Division of ERG)
  20. Rebe Feraldi (Franklin Associates, A Division of ERG)
  21. Sara Lafia (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  22. [Johan Tivander] (Chalmers, Sweden)
  23. Helen Couclelis (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  24. Beatriz Rivela (Technical University of Madrid, Spain)
  25. Pascal Lesage (Polytechnique Montreal, Canada)
  26. Mike Taptich (UC Berkeley)
  27. Antonio Medrano (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  28. Roland Geyer (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  29. Sabina Beraha (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  30. Kyle Meisterling (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  31. Bo Yan (University of California, Santa Barbara, US)
  32. ...

Not sure yet[edit]

  1. Karl Grossner (Stanford University)
  2. Nancy Wiegand
  3. Lamar Henderson
  4. ...

Would like to, but can't[edit]

  1. David Carral (Wright State University, US)
  2. Simon Cox
  3. ...