Basically, this diagram says that there are fifty eight years left when all the metal resources will be exhausted if the world continues to consume at today's rate. There is nothing to worry about because I am sure that geologists on this planet will figure something out much before that. I am saying this because many of us worried about the state of oil reserves also in last two decades after many pessimistic predictions - more than half of the time people were "Crying Wolf." In any case, the point I want to talk more about is the role of semantic technology in helping the geologists around the world.
I came across an interesting paper in this context. The key points explaining why semantics is becoming important in geology are:
- Geology, perhaps more than any other science, has advanced with the aid of pictures. The pictures, which are geological maps shows the distribution of different rock types. The current efforts to improve them have spawned a global e-science initiative to review the semantics of geology.
- One example of issue of semantics in context of geology is - The US department of agriculture and Forest service and the British Columbia Ministry of Lands, Parks and Environment will describe and classify the same geological phenomenan in a completely different way
- When working at relatively large scales, geologists are always dependent on data and information gathered and reported by other geologists regarding smaller scale features. Semantics is very critical here also
- One of the consistent problems in geology is the omni-present "map boundary fault" - an apparent geological continuity along the border of adjoining maps which is nothing more than difference in nomenclature or semantics
- Research is being done to prototype vocabularies by developing web services which can be used to store, compare, and rank on similarity, decsriptions of models (concepts) and instances (physical entitites and events) of mineral deposits, landslides and landslide hazards.