Tutorial Home | site map | glossary | GEOSS URR | GEO

Tutorial Home General View Publish Analyses Preferences Login Prepare Input

URR Glossary

Term Definition Comments
Application A process or activity depending directly or indirectly on Earth observations and/or producing information based on Earth observations relevant for users. In the URR, the Applications are published using the respective form. Examples of Applications are "numerical weather prediction", "malaria early warning", and "landslide research"
Attribute In connection with a database entry, the term attribute is used to denote one of the characteristics of the entry specified for the entry. Thus, attributes are the columns of a database table. For example, in a database table containing a list of persons, a entry (i.e., a row in the table) may have the attributes (columns) 'Family Name', 'Given Name', 'Affiliation', and 'Country'. In the description of the URR as a database, the term attibute is used in the database-related meaning. In connection with Earth observation parameters, an attribute denotes a specific property of the parameter. For example, if a requirements for measurements of the transformation of a chemical component into another component is entered, then "transformation" would be the attribute to be specified in in this requirements.
Category A broad facet, primary division of a special classification system or of a main class of a general one. (ISO 5217) In the URR, the term category is currently not used. In Version 1 of the URR, the attribute Category was introduced for Lexicon entries. However, it was decided to have this attribute inherited from ontologies.
Dictionary A reference tool containing an alphabetical list of words, with information given for each word, usually including meaning, pronunciation, and etymology. In the URR, the LEXICON is not completely consistent with the definition of a dictionary since we do not provide pronunciation and etymology.
Entry An entry is a full row in a database table. Examples of entries in the URR are the definition of a user type in table User Types, the definition of a term in Lexicon, an application in table Applications, or the specification of an requirement in table Requirements.
Glossary Terminological dictionary which contains a list of designations from a subject field, together with equivalents in one or more languages.
NOTE: In English common language usage, glossary can refer to a uni-lingual list of designations and definitions in a particular subject field. (ISO 1087:2000).
In the URR, the term glossary is not used except for the glossary given here.
Link A connection between a source and a target. In the URR, links are published in the respective table. Each link describes the connection between a source and a target. Sources and targets can be any of the entities published in the URR, i.e., User Types, Applications, Requirements, Research Needs, etc.
Link Degree   This term is used in the context of URR analyses. link degree: indicates how many levels are between A and Z if we choose the lowest number of links between these two entries. In the URR, we might not have a link described for A and Z in the above example. However, through the sequence A—>B—>C—>Z, they are linked, and the degree of the link A—>Z would be 3. But if we also have a link defined in the URR between B—>Z, so that we could change the sequence to A—>B—>Z, then the degree of the link A—>Z would be 2.
Link Level   This term is used in the context of URR analyses. The link level indicates how many one-to-one links starting from entry A connect A to Z. E.g., if I have A—>B—>C—>Z, we would have a level of 3. This is relevant e.g. for constraining the depth of a graphical display.
Ontology A reference tool containing an explicit formal specification of how to represent the objects, concepts and other entities that are assumed to exist in some area of interest and the relationships that hold among them.
NOTE: The subject of ontology is the study of the categories of things that exist or may exist in some domain. The product of such a study, called an ontology, is a catalog of the types of things that are assumed to exist in a domain of interest D from the perspective of a person who uses a language L for the purpose of talking about D. The types in the ontology represent the predicates, word senses, or concept and relation types of the language L when used to discuss topics in the domain D. (John Sowa cofounder of VivoMind Intelligence, Inc.)
In the URR, we are not defining the GEOSS ontology. However, at a latter stage, ontologies defined by others will be mapped onto the URR Lexicon.
Relation In database context, a relation is a compilation of entities that have a set of attributes. In the description of the URR, we are using the term "relation" interchangeably with "table." The term "form" is used to refer to the interactive screens that allow to populate a table/relation.
Requirement Specification of the characteristics of an observation or a product related to a quantity of the Earth system. In the context of the URR, the term requirement is used to denote an entry in the respective table, which specifies for an Earth observation quantity (as defined in the URR Lexicon) all necessary attributes.
Societal Sector High-level subdivision of largely disjoint sectors of society. There are two different usages of this term:
  • Three sectors public, private, non-profit: this is often referred to in connection with the "third sector", which is a term introduced for non-profit and voluntary activities as opposed to public and private activities.
  • Economic theory subdividing economy into production, processing, and service.
In the context of the URR, we divide the society in more than just the three sectors public, private, and non-profit. Currently, our list contains: Governmental, Academic, Educational, Commercial, Private, Others. This list is not optimal.
Table A two-dimensional compilation of information with columns and rows. In the description of the URR, we are using the term "table" interchangeably with "relation." The term "form" is used to refer to the interactive screens that allow to populate a table.
Taxonomy The construction of a concept classification scheme by means of disjunctive classes of clustered concepts. The goal of taxonomy formation is to achieve maximal simplicity and minimal overlap of distinctive characteristics. Contrast with conceptual clustering and concept formation. (ANSDIT - ANSI Dictionary for Information Technology) In the URR, we are not developing a taxonomy for user types and applications.
Thesaurus Controlled vocabulary including equivalent terms interrelations and rules of application. (ISO 5127:2001) In the URR, we are not developing a thesaurus, although this might be added later.
User Type A generic type of users of products or information. Entries in User Types describe user types to a certain degree generalized from individual users with rather similar or identical needs for information and relations to applications. In the URR, user types are published in the respective form. Examples of user types are "meteorologist", the "general public", "teacher", and "risk manager".