Geographic information is created by manipulating geographic (or spatial) data (generally known by the abbreviation geodata) in a computerized system. Geo-spatial information and geomatics are issues of modern business and research. It is essential to provide their different definitions and roles in order to get an overall picture of the issue. This article discusses about the problematic of definitions, but also the technologies and challenges within spatial data fusion.
Technologies Within Spatial Data Fusion
It has been estimated that up to 80% of all data stored in corporate databases may have a spatial component (Franklin 1992). To support analytical processes, today’s organizations deploy data warehouses and client tools such as OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) to access, visualize, and analyze integrated, aggregated and summarized data. The term “multidimensional” was established in the mid-1980s by computer scientists who were involved in the extraction of meaningful information from very large statistical databases (Rafanelli 2003).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Web Map Service (WMS): Produces maps of spatially referenced data dynamically from geographic information. This international standard defines a “map” to be a portrayal of geographic information as a digital image file suitable for display on a computer screen. A map is not the data itself. WMS-produced maps are generally rendered in a pictorial format such as PNG, GIF or JPEG. This is in contrast to a Web Feature Service (WFS), which returns the actual data.
Data Mining: The analysis of data to establish relationships and identify patterns.
Artificial Neural Networks (ANN): Also called a simulated neural network (SNN) or just a neural network (NN), is an interconnected group of artificial neurons that uses a mathematical or computational model for information processing based on a connectionist approach to computation.
Extensible Markup Language (XML): A W3C-recommended general-purpose markup language for creating special-purpose markup languages, capable of describing many different kinds of data. XML is a way of describing data.
GeoRSS: “RSS” is variously used to refer to the following: Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0), Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0) and RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0). It can be defined as a family of web feed formats. In the RSS- context geographical data is known as geoRSS.
AJAX Processes: A scripting technique for silently loading new data from the server. Although AJAX scripts commonly use the soon to be standardized XMLHttpRequest object, they could also use a hidden iframe or frame. An AJAX script is useless by itself. It also requires a DOM Scripting component to embed the received data in the document.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Multidisciplinary field encompassing computer science, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, robotics, and linguistics, and is devoted to the reproduction of the methods or results of human reasoning and brain activity.
Geospatial Data: Data consisting of geographical information, geostatistics and geotextual information.
Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI): Often used to denote the relevant base collection of technologies, policies and institutional arrangements that facilitate the availability of and access to spatial data.
Raw Data: Uninterpreted data from a storage medium. The maximum amount of raw data that can be copied from a storage medium equals the capacity of the medium.