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Open-File Report 2015–1004

A Case Study of Data Integration for Aquatic Resources Using Semantic Web Technologies

By Janice Gordon, Nina Chkhenkeli, David Govoni, Frances Lightsom, Andrea Ostroff, Peter Schweitzer, Phethala Thongsavanh, Dalia Varanka, and Stephan Zednik

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.61 MB)Abstract

Use cases, information modeling, and linked data techniques are Semantic Web technologies used to develop a prototype system that integrates scientific observations from four independent USGS and cooperator data systems. The techniques were tested with a use case goal of creating a data set for use in exploring potential relationships among freshwater fish populations and environmental factors. The resulting prototype extracts data from the BioData Retrieval System, the Multistate Aquatic Resource Information System, the National Geochemical Survey, and the National Hydrography Dataset. A prototype user interface allows a scientist to select observations from these data systems and combine them into a single data set in RDF format that includes explicitly defined relationships and data definitions. The project was funded by the USGS Community for Data Integration and undertaken by the Community for Data Integration Semantic Web Working Group in order to demonstrate use of Semantic Web technologies by scientists. This allows scientists to simultaneously explore data that are available in multiple, disparate systems beyond those they traditionally have used.

First posted April 9, 2015

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Suggested citation:

Gordon, Janice, Chkhenkeli, Nina, Govoni, David, Lightsom, Frances, Ostroff, Andrea, Schweitzer, Peter, Thongsavanh, Phethala, Varanka, Dalia, and Zednik, Stephan, 2015, A case study of data integration for aquatic resources using semantic web technologies: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1004, 55 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)





Application of the Methodology


Discussion and Conclusions


References Cited


Appendix 1: Semantic Web Technologies (Overview)

Appendix 2: Introduction to Resource Description Framework

Appendix 3: Linked Open Data

Appendix 4: API SPARQL Statements

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