Ontolog Forum

Session Planning
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 10 Nov 2021 17:00 GMT
9:00am PST/12:00pm EST
5:00pm GMT/6:00pm CET
Convener Ken Baclawski

Ontology Summit 2022 Planning

Dealing with Disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic as well as other pandemics and disasters have prompted an impressive, worldwide response by governments, industry, and the academic community. Ontologies can play a significant role in search, data description, interoperability and harmonization of the increasingly large data sources that are relevant to disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontology Summit 2022 examined the overall landscape of disasters and related ontologies. A framework consisting of a set of dimensions was developed to characterize this landscape. The framework was applied to health-related disasters, environmental disasters, as well as aerospace and cyberspace disasters. It was found that there are many cross-domain linkages between different kinds of disasters and that ontologies developed for one kind of disaster can be repurposed for other kinds. A representative sample of projects that have been developing and using ontologies for disaster monitoring and response management is presented to illustrate best practices and lessons learned. The Communiqué ends by presenting the findings and recommendations of the summit.


Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 10 November 2021
  • Start Time: 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 6:00pm CET / 5:00pm GMT / 1700 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: 1 hour
  • The Video Conference URL is
    • Meeting ID: 881 4427 2329
    • Passcode: 553714
  • Chat Room:
    • If the chat room is not available, then use the Zoom chat room.
  • One tap mobile



[12:01] RaviSharma: Hello Welcome

[12:09] Gary BC: Robert's name, I believe, was misspelled in the slides.

[12:16] Robert Rovetto: Thanks, Gary. Yes--the 'u' should be an 'e'

[12:20] Douglas R. Miles: It reads good

[12:24] Gary BC: Environmental disasters are also part of the Earth science area. Disasters pretty much all involve humans and populations in some way.

[12:33] Douglas R. Miles: I believe that I have a speaker Andrew Dougherty who published who has been a regular in some of our meetings

[12:33] RaviSharma: Ravi Presentation was given

[12:34] RaviSharma: Ken domain overlap, comparison of glossary and vocabularies is worthwhile.

[12:36] AlexShkotin: "a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction"

[12:37] RaviSharma: compare the definitions of disasters in EU UN and US agencies etc

[12:38] RaviSharma: Janet - now we see wealth of materials Qs are where are ideal use cases for interoperability?

[12:38] Gary BC: Disaster defined ion one of the OBO ontologies "Sudden calamitous events producing great material damage, loss, and distress. They are the result of natural phenomena such as earthquakes, floods, etc. Calamities producing great damage, loss of life, and distress. They include results of natural phenomena and man-made phenomena. Normal conditions of existence are disrupted and the level of impact exceeds the capacity of the hazard-affected community."

[12:39] RaviSharma: List of more focused Qs

[12:41] janet singer: Now that we see the wealth of work and documentation available is the field of disasters and ontologies, we need a list of focused questions.

[12:44] AlexShkotin: domain is the first point to split disaster types.

[12:45] AlexShkotin: bad event but how bad it is to be disaster.

[12:46] Robert Rovetto: Ken mentioned: what if distinct parties disagree on what constitutes a disaster? (Consider: that a governmental authority may officially declare an event as a disaster)

Rob mentioned: that may point to a legal context, whereby we may distinguish between a legal meaning of 'disaster' from others

[12:47] RaviSharma: disaster and insurance and liabilities were discussed thus mentioning

[12:53] RaviSharma: Gary - why disasters are important and later go to ontologies etc.

[12:55] janet singer: My question is if this is a relatively restricted domain that has high costs associated with inadequate coordination, why have the various agencies and researchers not achieved coordination among their semantics?

[12:57] RaviSharma: A generic track on overall disaster was suggested.

[13:01] RaviSharma: Ken said there was no general def of KGs but we could have a track to survey.

[13:02] janet singer: What amounts to a disaster could be highly perspective dependent, as with use of military force is a disaster for some and a boon for others. Or Covid has been a disaster for some and a boon for the new billionaires and others heavily invested in Pharma.

[13:03] RaviSharma: Gary - favors general discussion, environmental, organizing is ok and then like SWEET needs modifications, that is how general disasters and subtopics

[13:04] RaviSharma: Ken suggestions be made on overarching theme to narrow down

[13:05] Robert Rovetto: To correct: SWEET does not need modifications. Rather Gary said that specific project may or may not modify a given ontology to suit its goals

[13:06] Robert Rovetto: I recommend that for any generic description of disaster we do not prefer any particular definition by a particular group or ontology

[13:06] Douglas R. Miles: great talk everyone

[13:09] Robert Rovetto: 3 potential disaster categories: meteorology (natural) disasters (covering earthquakes, floods, etc.), human-made (covering social conflicts, intentional acts, etc.), pandemic


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