OBOE – Extensible Ontology for Observation

“OBOE is not domain specific”

“The Extensible Observation Ontology (OBOE) is a formal ontology for capturing the semantics of scientific observation and measurement. The ontology supports researchers to add detailed semantic annotations to scientific data, thereby clarifying the inherent meaning of scientific observations. The main concepts in OBOE include:

  • Observation: an event in which one or more measurements are taken
  • Measurement: the measured value of a property for a specific object or phenomenon (e.g., 3.2)
  • Entity: an object or phenomenon on which measurements are made (e.g., Quercus rubrum)
  • Characteristic: the property being measured (e.g., VolumetricDensity)
  • Standard: units and controlled vocabularies for interpreting measured values (e.g., g/cm^3)
  • Protocol: the procedures followed to obtain measurements (e.g., DensityProtocol2014)

OBOE can characterize the context of an observation (e.g., space and time), as well as dependencies such as nested experimental observations. It includes an extensive set of unit definitions (e.g., grams of carbon per liter of seawater), and can facilitate automatic unit conversions (e.g., pounds to kilograms). OBOE can be easily extended to create Entities and Characteristics for specific research domains, making it both broadly applicable and highly customizable.

OBOE is being used to improve data interpretation, facilitate reuse, and create precise and effective systems for data search and discovery.”