Some generic issues to consider

Thu Apr 20 19:19:09 2000

A comment by Jonathan C. Matti about

Science language for geologic-map databases

Science Language Technical Team
Working memo #1

Science Language Technical Team colleagues:

	Although pragmatism is our main goal with regard to schemes for
science-language classification, I think we need to spend a short time
addressing some generic conceptual issues.

	I have assembled several issues below that I will place at the
web-conference site (  Please reflect on
these and any other issues that you deem relevant to our task, and place
your words on the conference site.  Each of you needs to weigh in on these
issue, in order for the group to begin to develop consensus (if that is

(a) can we really develop common science-language standards on a
continent-wide basis?


(b) can we really do this at a level deeper than "granite versus basalt" or
"glacial versus deltaic" or "geologic contact versus fault", etc?


(c) what role do regional geologic differences and geologic-mapping
traditions play in the development of science-language standards?

(d) should there be one single terminology standard, or multiple standards
linked by translators and equivalency tables?

(e) what kinds of scientific queries should be supported by standard
terminologies at the National, Regional, and Local levels, and should a
single science-language structure support each and all levels?

(f) To what audience(s) will the data-model science language speak on behalf
of our various agencies?  Technical only?  Hybrid technical and
non-technical?  One language for technical, a second language for

(g) What does each map-producing agency expect to query (search for and
retrieve) from geologic-map data bases produced by the data model? (agency
point of view)

(h) What kind of geologic information will the typical geologist expect to
put INTO the data model and retrieve FROM it? (geologist point of view)

(i) What kinds of interdisciplinary science should be incorporated into the
data model science language?  Or, put differently, how should the data model
be structured and populated to ensure its utility to the geophysics,
geo-engineering, earthquake, geochemical, and hydrogeologic communities?

(j) What kinds of feature-level locational-accuracy issues should be
addressed by our science language, as these bear on agency accountability?

(k) What kinds of feature-level scientific-confidence issues should be
addressed by our science language, as these bear on agency accountability?

(l) What kinds of feature-level data-origination issues should be addressed
in our science language, as these bear on agency accountability?

	Let's have all of this done by 12 May.  I will take the results of this
discussion to the next meeting of the Data Model Steering Committee on 16
May in Lexington, Kentucky.

	Adios from Tucson,		Jonathan

Context of this discussion

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