Submissions/Marine Corps Civil Information Management (MARCIM) Semantic Wiki

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Marine Corps Civil Information Management (MARCIM) Semantic Wiki
Scheduled Time
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Laura Cassani
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Data sharing in support situational awareness and decision support during civil military operations remains a challenge to effective response and recovery, despite the fact that significant technological advances have enabled robust mobile data collection capabilities that can operate in both connected and disconnected environments. The Marine Corps Civil Information Management (MARCIM) Semantic Wiki, built on the Semantic MediaWiki platform aims to fill this gap by creating a knowledge portal for Civil Information Management (CIM) that enables users to collect, organize, tag, search, browse, visualize, and share structured CIM knowledge. Users can document field collected information and datasets in a structured format, while leveraging a rich repository of social-cultural information in context. A Semantic Wiki differs from a regular wiki (like Wikipedia) by using a knowledge model that captures and identifies relationships within and between pages. Each wiki page represents an entity (like a person, school, organization, ethnic group, location, etc.) and since the MARCIM Semantic Wiki organizes knowledge into categories and properties, users can easily search and discover relationships within the data.

During a civil military operation, information is collected in the field using the Lighthouse mobile app, which includes almost forty different types of forms such as Village Health Assessment, Key Leader Engagement, and School Assessment. These forms are based on best practice principles for collecting data in support of civil military operations, and include fields such as “What are the common diseases in the city/village”, “Identify projects that could contribute to your community”, and “What needs to be repaired at this school”, for village health, key leader engagement, and school assessments respectively. As soon as a user has completed the form in the field, Lighthouse then automatically syncs with the MARCIM Semantic Wiki knowledge base, creating a page for that individual assessment and generating tags and links for greater knowledge capture and interlinking with relevant socio-cultural data. This creates a central knowledge repository to capture all field collected data as part of an operation for greater civil military operation management to monitor data quality and status; operational planning to provide insight for planning based on an analysis of field collected data; and to support mobile users in the field with social and situational awareness of team activities.

The MARCIM Semantic Wiki captures and generates new relationships about entities by tagging data using a “subject, property, object” semantic annotation format, creating a knowledge base for analysts to query and explore. For example, let’s say the response to the Village Health Assessment question, “What are the common diseases in the city/village” was cholera. This would then be tagged with the subject being that specific village health assessment, the property would be the question, “what are the common diseases in the city/village” and the object would be cholera. This format allows users to ask questions and receive an answer, not a list of related documents, because the information is stored at the fact level (e.g. “subject, property, object”) as opposed to a document level. In this case, users could create dynamic charts, graphs, maps and other outputs that answer questions using any of the other properties captured in the village health assessment form like, what are all of the villages that have reported cholera as the most common disease in the city/village? Of those villages that reported cholera, what province are they located in? Of the villages that reported cholera as the major problem, what are the locations of wells and the quality of the water and what is the existing sanitation system (additional questions from the village health assessment).

Part of the MARCIM suite of tools includes the International Stability Assessment and Analysis Capability (ISAAC), which aims to provide web-based geospatial analytics in support of measuring performance and effectiveness of civil military projects. The MARCIM Semantic Wiki integrates with ISAAC to produce information about critical areas of response based on incoming data. An area of research for our team is to identify additional semantic search geospatial outputs for inclusion into the ISAAC map viewer to enable more robust geospatial analytics.

The MARCIM Semantic Wiki provides intelligent and automated semantic tagging assistance of field collected data imported to the knowledge portal generating new relationships within the data and making information more discoverable. The MARCIM Semantic Wiki has recently been tested in the field during civil military operations in Thailand and the Philippines. The benefits of leveraging semantic wiki technology for civil military operations include:

  • Harnessing semantically annotated knowledge is essential for assessing the needs of the civilian population for civil military mission planning, analysis, and support
  • Supports civil military operational planning through the collection and management of longitudinal data; prevents duplication of effort in future exercises and operations
  • Provides timely and accurate reporting and situation awareness enabled by dynamically generated tables, charts, timelines, statistical analysis, maps, tag clouds, lists using semantic search. Charts are dynamically generated so each time the page is visited the chart is recreated by running a query against all properties of interest.
  • Integrates field data collected automatically with MARCIM SW knowledge base to tag and automatically generate relationships within the data for greater knowledge discovery; links field data to relevant socio-cultural knowledge.
  • Supports civil military operations staff reporting functions through custom export of analysis outputs from knowledge base to Excel, ORA, etc.
  • Fosters collaboration through discussion tabs and Twitter like hashtag and mention features; can import and export knowledge into/from other analytic applications
  • Wikis and the Public Sector
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations

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  1. Yaron Koren (talk) 01:49, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. AutoGyro (talk) 05:02, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Alper Caglayan (talk) 22:41, 7 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Jeroen De Dauw (talk) 01:02, 15 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Bernadette Clemente (talk) 18:20, 3 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]