An Ontology-Based Approach to Support Information Discovery in Spatial Data Infrastructures

An Ontology-Based Approach to Support Information Discovery in Spatial Data Infrastructures

Fabio Gomes de Andrade (Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Paraíba, Brazil) and Cláudio De Souza Baptista (University of Campina Grande, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2190-9.ch018
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Currently, spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) are becoming the solution adopted by many organizations to facilitate discovery, access and integration of geographic information produced and provided by different agencies. However, the catalog services currently offered by these infrastructures provide keyword-based queries only. This may result on low recall and precision. Furthermore, these catalogs retrieve information based on the metadata records that describe either a service or a dataset. This feature brings limitations to more specific information discovery, such as those based on feature types and instances. This chapter proposes a solution that aims to overcome these limitations by using multiple ontologies to enhance the description of the information offered by SDIs. The proposed ontologies describe the semantics of several features of a service, enabling information discovery at level of services, feature types, and geographic data.
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Over the years, many works using ontologies were proposed to improve spatial data retrieval in spatial data infrastructures and geographic portals. The main difference between these works is the type of information that is discovered by each one.

Some works have been proposed concerning processing services discovery. Lemmens et al. (Lemmens et al., 2007) defined a framework for semantic interoperability of geo operations. Their work proposes ontologies to describe application domains and spatial features. Besides, an ontology for service classification is described and used to define a taxonomy of geographic services. Their work implements a matchmaker service enabled to discover services and service compositions automatically. By other hand, Lutz (Lutz, 2007) developed an approach that uses ontologies for the annotation and discovery of geo-services. In his work, the description of such services is done through semantic annotation of its input and output parameters, preconditions and effects. A semantic signature is generated to represent this information. During a query processing, a reasoner is used to discover services and service compositions using semantic relationships such as subsumption and plug-in. The main drawback of these works is that they do not address discovery of spatial feature types and data access services. Other important works regarding services discovery were proposed by Rezeg et al. (Rezeg, Laskri, & Servigne, 2010) and Yue et al. (Yue et al., 2011).

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