January 2018

A recent EOS Meeting Report describes last year’s International Symposium on Linking Environmental Data and Samples, which gathered more than 70 participants from a variety of Earth and environmental disciplines such as the solid Earth sciences, marine science, oceanography, soil science, ecosystems science, biodiversity, and remote sensing. Researchers, including SESAR²’s Dr. Kerstin Lehnert, considered whether a uniform approach to data representation could be applied to disciplines and projects with widely varying approaches to sampling. Various sessions allowed attendees to discuss their motivations for linking samples and data, explore technical approaches to Web linking and identifiers, and evaluate the challenges in the adoption of common standards across different disciplines and sectors where incentives may vary widelyParticipants agreed that relationships between samples, parts of samples, and sampling artifacts must be recorded to allow resulting observations to be related back to the world. Ultimately, the meeting achieved its theme of “linking” by bringing together multiple disciplines to improve our understanding of how linked data can work in practice for environmental samples and data.