Integrating Heterogeneous and Distributed Information about Marine Species through a Top Level Ontology

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One of the main characteristics of biodiversity data is its cross-disciplinary feature and the extremely broad range of data types, structures, and semantic concepts which encompasses. Moreover, biodiversity data, especially in the marine domain, is widely distributed, with few well-established repositories or standard protocols for their archiving, access, and retrieval. Our research aims at providing models and methods that allow integrating such information either for publishing it, browsing it, or querying it. For providing a valid and reliable knowledge ground for enabling semantic interoperability of marine data, in this paper we motivate a top level ontology, called MarineTLO that we have designed for this purpose, and discuss its use for creating MarineTLO-based warehouses in the context of a research infrastructure.