Past Meetup

Yosemite Project for Healthcare Information Interoperability & New Ontology Book

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Hear David Booth talk about The Yosemite Project: an ambitious roadmap for achieving semantic interoperability of all structured healthcare information and hear Professor Barry Smith talk about his new book: Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology

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• 6:30 p.m. Welcome and Background (New Tutorial and Mentoring) Slides ( Data Science for EHRs (

• 6:35 p.m. David Booth (, PhD. HRG and Rancho BioSciences, Slides (

• 7:25 p.m. Brief Member Introductions

• 7:30 p.m. Professor Barry Smith (, Department of Philosophy - University at Buffalo New Book: Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology ( Slides (

• 8:30 p.m. Open Discussion

• 8:45 p.m. Networking

• 9:00 p.m. Depart

TITLE: The Yosemite Project ( for Healthcare Information Interoperability

SPEAKER: David Booth (, PhD. HRG and Rancho BioSciences

Healthcare data originates in a wide variety of data formats, data models and vocabularies, making information interoperability a major challenge. Although many standards exist, and each one strives for a level of interoperability within its scope, in the aggregate these standards form an uncoordinated patchwork that thwarts interoperability.

Furthermore, even when standards are used, translation between data formats, data models and vocabularies is still needed, for a variety of reasons.

The Yosemite Project describes an ambitious roadmap for achieving semantic interoperability of all structured healthcare information.

Based on RDF as the best available candidate for a universal information representation, this roadmap addresses both the need to 'standardize the standards' and the opportunity to crowdsource data translations that are still required for information interoperability.

David Booth is an independent consultant and senior software architect at HRG and at Rancho BioSciences, using Semantic Web technology to make healthcare and biomedical data interoperable between diverse systems. He previously worked at KnowMED, using Semantic Web technology for healthcare quality-of-care and clinical outcomes measurement, and at PanGenX, applying Semantic Web technology to genomics in support of personalized medicine. Before that he worked on Cleveland Clinic's SemanticDB project, which uses RDF and other semantic technologies to perform cardiovascular research. Prior to that was a software architect at HP Software, where his primary focus was emerging technologies. He was a W3C Fellow from 2002 to 2005, where he worked on Web Services standards before becoming involved in Semantic Web technology. He has been programming for many years using a variety of programming languages and operating systems. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from UCLA.

For information on other webinars in the Yosemite Project series, visit

Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology ( By Robert Arp, Barry Smith and Andrew D. Spear

In the era of “big data,” science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy. This book provides an introduction to the field of applied ontology that is of particular relevance to biomedicine, covering theoretical components of ontologies, best practices for ontology design, and examples of biomedical ontologies in use.

After defining an ontology as a representation of the types of entities in a given domain, the book distinguishes between different kinds of ontologies and taxonomies, and shows how applied ontology draws on more traditional ideas from metaphysics. It presents the core features of the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), now used by over one hundred ontology projects around the world, and offers examples of domain ontologies that utilize BFO. The book also describes Web Ontology Language (OWL), a common framework for Semantic Web technologies. Throughout, the book provides concrete recommendations for the design and construction of domain ontologies.