Ontolog Forum

Session KGs and Disaster Mitigation
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 13 Apr 2022 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
5:00pm BST/6:00pm CEST
Convener Ravi Sharma
Track Environment Disasters

Ontology Summit 2022 KGs and Disaster Mitigation

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. Track 3 - Environmental Disasters


  • Krzysztof Janowicz Knowledge Graphs and Disaster Mitigation Slides Video Recording YouTube Video
  • Abstract: In this talk I will report on our progress in designing the KnowWhereGraph, a 10+ billion graph-triples strong open knowledge graph consisting of dozens of interconnected thematic layers of data at the intersection of humans and their environments. One of the key value propositions of KnowWhereGraph is its application to humanitarian relief and food supply management. I will provide an overview of the current state of the graph and the underlying ideas and pilots and then outline our successes and failures throughout the process of designing the graph and its software tool-chain for humanitarian relief.
  • Bio: Krzysztof Janowicz is a full professor for Geoinformatics at the University of Vienna, Austria and director of the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. His research focuses on how humans conceptualize the space around them based on their behavior, focusing particularly on regional and cultural differences with the ultimate goal of assisting machines to better understand the information needs of an increasingly diverse user base. Janowicz’s expertise is in knowledge representation and reasoning as they apply to spatial and geographic data, e.g., in the form of knowledge graphs.

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 13 Apr 2022
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CEST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 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



[12:06] RaviSharma: welcome all

[12:13] RaviSharma: Jano- Yes reuse is important but often the context or relevant prerequisites change and we are not able to reuse, what are the situations where we can increasingly reuse, especially by doing ontology matching or vocabulary harmonization.

[12:16] RaviSharma: Jano - thanks, you showed change detection both as events of past or probably image data changes, hence reuse is already implied?

[12:23] RaviSharma: Jano - are we able to see a standard way of time date stamping so we can distinguish provenance?

[12:27] Robert Rovetto: Jano emphasized the focus on relationships in knowledge graphs. I agree. Relationships are often an under treated topic.

[12:28] RaviSharma: Yes, Robert I agree.

[12:29] RaviSharma: To what extent KGs provide relationships is visual.

[12:30] RaviSharma: Asiyah also agrees with Robert R.

[12:32] RaviSharma: Jano - I like the recursive as well as geo queries. thanks

[12:34] RaviSharma: Jano - what are important parameters that encapsulate Situational Awareness?

[12:35] Robert Rovetto: An interesting observation on reflection is that we can look at the history of data and conceptual modeling to see degrees of emphasis on relationships: e.g., ER diagrams, concept graph diagrams, etc., where we see visual presentations of relationships have a more, if not equal focus, on the presentation of non-relational constructs. But in more recent times, particularly in some ontology circles, there has IMHO been and under-emphasis.

[12:39] Asiyah Lin: I think at current stage, if we can find clusters of related data not even considering relationships will be very helpful. The relationships will come after.

[12:41] John Sowa: In 2016, Krzystof J. gave short talk at an Ontology Summit session.

[12:41] RaviSharma: Please comment on temporal representations in addition to when or provenance?

[12:41] John Sowa: The title was intriguing: Semantic Interoperability is an oxymoron.

[12:42] RaviSharma: John. Yes Gary introduced us to all of his previous talks, you are right.

[12:42] John Sowa: I strongly agree with that sentiment. And I'd like to ask a question about that topic during the Q/A session.

[12:43] Asiyah Lin: I think at current stage, if we can find clusters of related data not even considering relationships will be very Question: How would this KnowWhereGraph work with other dataset to apply researches in other field, such as SDoH research? Further to my question: is there any easy to use tools, APIs for such use from other domains? Another question: Are there similar datasets or data providers out there?

[12:43] Robert Rovetto: Do we have a link to that 2016 talk?

[12:44] John Sowa: Following are his 2016 slides: There are only 5 slides, and I highly recommend them.

[12:46] RaviSharma: Asiyah - Another question: Is there similar datasets or data providers out there?

[12:52] RaviSharma: It is clear from County example that data sources are not captured by governance of counties?

[17:05] Bev Corwin: Refreshing concepts of living, maturing ontologies.

[13:16] John Sowa: A dynamic theory of ontology -- That is a topic I presented some years ago, but it is still relevant

[13:18] Robert Rovetto: Follow-up topics include: Ken's work on KGs, Misc. from the talk, ...

[13:21] NancyWiegand: Regarding GIS data portals, it was a big deal at the time to get data off someone's computer and put it in a portal for all to see! But, yes, those portals were limiting, including the national one, Geospatial One-Stop. Anyway, my question is this: Say, for transportation, there are many transportation data sets, state, county, city. For each type of disaster (or other need), a different transportation data set would be the most appropriate. This is a level of detail that I wonder if could have in your knowledge graph, as it would take another mini-ontology or decision tree.

[13:21] Mike Bennett: Krzysztof's comments on ontology reuse (complexity / accuracy v tractability) are also v relevant to the FIBO experience.


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