Accessibility: Critical GIS, Ontologies, and Semantics

Accessibility: Critical GIS, Ontologies, and Semantics

Ardis Hanson (University of South Florida Libraries, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-726-3.ch006
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With the creation of the Internet and the continued evolution of technologies in GIS, networking, and knowledge management, access to geospatial information is a critical component of research and practice. Interoperability is the “new paradigm for joining heterogeneous computer systems into synergistic units that facilitate a more efficient use of geographic information resources” (Harvey, Kuhn, Pundt, Bishr, & Riedemann, 1999, p. 213). As geographers reassess the description of geographic methodologies and techniques across different platforms in the online environment, so have researchers in other disciplines assessed the use of applied geographic techniques for a wide variety of analysis. Such efforts have led some researchers to use new descriptive classifications to identify functionalities in the new scholarship, such as in creating new ontologies for GIS (Fonseca, Davis, & Cmara, 2003; Goodchild, 2004; Goodchild & Haining, 2004; Mark, Skupin, & Smith, 2001). This chapter examines the impact of these new ontologies, reviews the impact standards have on access and issues for end-users in accessing geospatial information.

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