MARCIM Semantic Wiki News - May 1, 2012

The following is the second installment of our MARCIM Semantic Wiki Newsletter, sent May 1, 2012 to those involved in the MARCIM technology demonstration. If you are interested in being added to the mailing list for these newsletters, please email  

Semantic Wiki News - May 1, 2012


Our participation in Balikatan 2012 exercises within Palawan, Philippines reinforced many lessons learned during Cobra Gold 2012, as well as elucidated fresh insights that have inspired our team's evolution of the Semantic Wiki.  We look forward to keeping the team updated on the exciting progress being made through this MARCIM Semantic Wiki Newsletter. We kept the distribution of the newsletter to individuals directly involved in the project; please let us know if there are others we should include in the mailing list!

The following features have been implemented in the Semantic Wiki since our participation in Balikatan 2012:

Event Calendar

In response to user feedback, we have taken our semantic Event Calendar (detailed in our last newsletter installment) a step further by allowing users to populate this calendar themselves via their mobile devices. Using the "Event" form within the mobile app, users may now enter the time, date, and details about a particular event. This data is automatically ingested into the Wiki, and placed upon a monthly calendar.

As you can see above, Balikatan users added information to these calendars about events such as barangay meetings, CMO operations meetings, VETCAP and MDVCAP outreach, and site dedication ceremonies. For users that choose to populate the calendar with events that are relevant only to their teams, we have created "Team Calendars" (such as the BK12 North Calendarwhich lists all activities being conducted by CA Team North). For operations personnel that desire an aggregate view of events, we've created calendars that contain all events (such as the BK12 Joint Medical Task Force Calendar which lists all MEDCAP and VETCAP related activities, irrespective of which teams are involved in the activity). The dynamic nature of this calendar serves to increase the quality of collaboration among the operational planning team and units in the field.

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Tabbed Site Pages

In the Philippines we observed that users found it difficult to search for site-specific information. This led us to recognize a distinct need to address ontological distinctions in the Wiki; that is, the need to draw sharper distinctions between Site pages, the schools that sites are associated with, ENCAP and MEDCAP activity that occurs at these sites, etc. As you can see from the screenshot for Buena Vista Elementary School, below, we have implemented tabbed site pages which address this issue. By having tabs for relevant data about the site (i.e. ENCAP Progress, ENCAP Description, School Information, and Village/Subdistrict Information), all the information that relates to a single site exists within the same page, so that accessing site-specific information is made increasingly intuitive for users.

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Since Cobra Gold 2012, we've introduced an enhanced tagging scheme for all photographs ingested from the mobile device. Included in this enhanced tagging scheme are coordinates, which allow us to geolocate photographs on a map, as can be seen on the Balikatan 2012 photographs page. This allows users to zoom into an area of interest within the map and view images that have been submitted.

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Internal Timer

During Balikatan exercises we identified a way to place content (such as charts, tables, pictures, or text) on an internal timer within the Wiki so that the content doesn't appear until a defined date. This keeps pages from being cluttered with information that either is not relevant, or doesn't exist, until a particular point in time. For example, the tables on the MDVCAP site pages aggregate and analyze the demographic data collected from MDVCAP patient registration (i.e. see the Cabayugan National High School Patient Registration Data). These tables, which don't have any information until the registration process begins, are now placed on timers so that they appear when registration commences.

We are excited about this solution as it increases the practicality and sustainability of the Wiki, and allows us to feed users semantic reports and other content when we know they'll need them. These timers can be customized down to the very second that the user needs the designated content to appear.

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Multidimensional Dynamic Graphs

Before discussing the innovation in our enhanced dynamic graphs, we'll first delve into some Semantic Query 101. The semantic reports (i.e. tables, charts, calendars, etc.) that you see within the Wiki go beyond simple analysis that can be completed in Excel; they're unique because every time you visit, the reports are created anew for you. They refresh every time you visit the page in which they are embedded. The reports can be automated in this way because every page within the Wiki (i.e. every assessment, every school site, every village) is tagged using a "subject, property, object" semantic annotation format. For example, Bangkok (Subject) has a Population (Property) of 8,300,000 (Value). Because of the way the data is structured, we are able to explore relationships between and among Wiki pages. This allows us to ask the database questions and receive answers (such as, what is the population of Bangkok?).

In constructing more complex reports, we need to conduct searches for properties that are semantic queries in and of themselves. In such reports, the information we need is not tagged within the pages, but by nesting a semantic query as a property value, we can infer knowledge from the other semantic relationships that exist. We used this logic to create the ENCAP progress graph (below) which you can view on the BK12 Engineering Civic Action (ENCAP) Activity page. Behind this graph is a semantic query that is asking the Wiki to deliver the most recent Percent Completion rate entered within the SITREPs for all ENCAP sites. This is a query within a query, as we are delving into the multidimensional semantic relationships that exist, rather than the tags within the page, to deliver this information.

This is a galvanizing development as it demonstrates that our visualizations and reports can be enhanced to drill down into multiple dimensions of the data, querying for relationships nested among other relationships, to derive insight and produce refined visualizations that provide value in operations.

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Usage Statistics

To track usage of the Wiki over time, we have created a MARCIM Semantic Wiki Statistics page. This page dynamically tracks aggregate statistics (i.e. number of views, edits, and assessments), and well as statistics by operation (i.e. how many new user accounts were created for Cobra Gold v. Balikatan? How many photographs were ingested? How many assessments were ingested; and how many of these were medical assessments in either exercise?). The page also contains a dynamic bar chart that tracks user account creation over time, and dynamic pie graphs which detail the number of assessments completed by operation.

Below are some interesting statistics as of May 1, 2012:

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We hope you found the second installment of our Semantic Wiki Newsletter useful, interesting, and relevant. We value your feedback on how we can improve our updates.

Sincerely, The Milcord team