NCBO User Profile: Duane Edgington, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

  Using NCBO Technology to Help Integrate the Diverse Data, Systems, People, and Organizations Needed for Marine Research
Duane Edgington“Thanks to its open-source nature, well written code, easy extensibility, and excellent support, BioPortal helped us set up our own deployment, called the MMI Ontology Registry and Repository successfully and in a very short period of time.”
   Duane Edgington, Ph.D.
   MMI Principal Investigator
   Software Engineering Group Leader
   Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
The Marine Metadata Interoperability (MMI) Project: 
As notionally shown below, marine research is highly multi-disciplinary and takes advantage of varied measurement systems operated by diverse organizations.  Airborne, terrestrial, surface water, and underwater measurements all contribute to marine research.  The marine scientist is faced with an unusually complex challenge of data integration and interpretation. 
MMI is a collaborative effort aimed at overcoming this challenge.  It supports marine researchers by making it easier to find, access, and use diverse data sets. It is also making new data sets easier to advertise, distribute, reuse, and combine with other data sets. The goal is to promote collaborative research in the marine science domain, by simplifying the incredibly complex world of metadata into specific, straightforward guidance. MMI is also developing web applications and stand-alone tools to enable sophisticated interactions across marine data systems.
The Interoperability Problem in Marine Research 1        
NCBO Technology and MMI: One of MMI’s key requirements is a repository of vocabularies, ontologies, and metadata that supports, open standards, versioning, mappings, web resolution of semantic resources, and easy-to-use user interfaces for non-experts.  BioPortal allowed MMI to develop their Ontology Registry and Repository ( in a very short period of time.  Working with NCBO staff, MMI has been able to extend the core BioPortal functionality with various modules to customize the creation of ontologies from vocabularies in tabular format, define term mappings, and provide direct web resolution of semantic resource identifiers.  MMI is now supporting NCBO by providing direct feedback, test cases, code extensions, and discussions in common forums.

1 Image: David Fierstein Copyright © 2001 Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.  The picture was developed by MUSE project (MOOS Monterey Ocean Observing System upper-water-column Science Experiment).