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Pier Luigi Buttigieg on publishing F.A.I.R data for agriculture development

A semantic layer for the Sustainable Development Goals: Linking data, information, and knowledge in support of socio-ecological development.

This talk was given for the International Data Week 2018, Botswana, in the CoData session on ‘Semantics for publishing FAIR data in Agriculture for Development.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are far reaching, prompting action from myriad elements in socio-ecological systems across the planet. Official and unofficial collections and streams of data are emerging which are of great relevance to the SDG process, but their exact relationship to the SDGs, their targets, and their indicators is often hard to assess efficiently and at scale. Further, the data, information, and knowledge needed to fully understand how the SDGs are being achieved are inherently complex, often patchy, and subject to change. This complexity is compounded by variation introduced by national and sub-national contextualisation of SDG-relevant data. Handling information across these contexts requires the intervention of local knowledge, encoded in such a way that it can be used by informatics solutions and interfaced with global understandings.

This resource offers those working with SDG data a stable and logically coherent semantic reference to concretely assert what their data is about. SDGIO is an open resource maintained by a working group coordinated by UN Environment, expressed in the Web Ontology Language (OWL), and aligned to the best practices of the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry and Library and the FAIR principles.

The ontology is linked to and reuses a growing collection of community ontologies which are used in fields including ecology, environmental science, epidemiology, agronomy, and food informatics.

These resources express and logically interlink both global and local understandings and standards in a way that is computationally accessible, queryable, and aligned to semantic web conventions. Software developers can leverage this content to work with data in novel ways, aligned to the knowledge captured from experts from multiple disciplines. To ensure inclusivity and representativeness, SDGIO and its associated ontologies can be extended by all and we welcome co-editors to drive future development.

Dec 6, 2018

Pier Luigi Buttigieg

Data scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute and developer and co-leader of the Environment Ontology (ENVO) and the Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology (SDGIO)

Bremen, Germany

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