Steps toward Grid-based geological survey: Suggestions for a systems framework of models, ontologies, and workflows
Consideration of an explicit systems framework for geological survey information is timely, to assist in developing and maintaining an integrated and coherent view of regional geoscience in a Grid-based context. A framework based on a solid Earth systems model is tentatively proposed in this paper. The developing advanced infrastructure of information and communications technology, the so-called Grid, points to more flexible global communication that will help to overcome artificial boundaries
... nd divergence of concepts from separate places and scientific disciplines. Interoperability of information (the ability to amalgamate and work with concepts, terms or models from various sources, and thereby share and reuse information) will be a key to the Grid's success. Geological surveys can respond to the opportunity by changing their emphasis, away from publishing printed maps and related documents, towards maintaining a geoscience knowledge system from which scientific workflows can provide flexible services that match requirements specified by the user. The changing system should fit with, and build upon, existing patterns of human thought and the published record; include interpretation as an essential part of the conceptual building blocks that support geologists as they abstract, codify and reason, link observation to explanation, and predict what they have not yet observed; support improved representations of the geology; and encourage the use of generic concepts and ontologies, following international standards where appropriate.