A situated representation of
Cyberinfrastructure resources
Mark Gahegan and Bill Pike
GeoVISTA Center, Department of Geography
The Pennsylvania State University, USA
The Geosciences Network (GEON):
Learning Activities in Digital
Libraries: www.dialogplus.org
Human Environment Regional
Observatories (HERO):
This research is funded by:
NSF BCS-9978052, (HERO)
NSF ITR (EAR)-0225673 (GEON)
NSF/JISC Digital Libraries for Education
NSF ITR (BCS)-0219025
 “Knowledge keeps no better than fish”
-- Alfred North Whitehead
 “You cannot put your foot in the same stream
-- Heraclitus
 “You can know the name of a bird in all the
languages of the world, but when you're finished,
you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about
the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what
it's doing -- that's what counts.”
-- Richard Feynman
We need systems that better
describe the concepts we employ
 Science is dynamic
 Concepts used change and evolve
 Concepts are situated … in place, in time, in
tasks, in knowledge schemata, among
individuals and communities
 Thus, static, unsituated concepts (and ontologies
and knowledge maps) will produce static science
 We need methods to support dynamic and
situated concept development, sharing, and
What’s in the soup? A nexus of
knowledge structures (Whitehead, 1923)
Situations in CyberInfrastructure
Represented by
Who did it?
Who should use it?
Collections of people
Where was it made?
Where does it apply?
Collections of sites /
When was it made?
When does it apply?
Collections of
temporal intervals
How was it made?
How should it be
Collections of
methods and data
Why was it made?
Why should it be
Collections of
research questions,
motivations, theories
Situating e-resources in the
knowledge nexus
Seismic Analysis Concept Map
(GEON: Randy Keller)
…situated among data and methods
…and people (individuals and communities)
Perspectives example: (Articles and their
authors, CiteSeer Communities in ConceptVista)

A framework for representing, manipulating and reasoning