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Using an INSPIRE Ontology to Support Spatial Data Interoperability

Falk W├╝rriehausen, Timo Homburg and Hartmut Mueller

(Submission #188)


Abstract

The use of ontologies in the context of spatial data interopability within the framework of INSPIRE, should be presented. Starting from an investigation of INSPIRE interoperability requirements, we outline the concept of a semantic-based general platform which allows interlinking among different systems. The proposed solution relies on established standards like the OWL Web Ontology Language, the GML Geographic Markup Language, the (Geo)SPARQL Standard, and others. Currently most geospatial datasets are not semantically accessible and merely exposed as OGC web services and/or in a large variety of heterogenous data formats. Many of those formats are unlikely to disappear even with the employment of INSPIRE. We assert that having a common unified semantic view on heterogeneous datasets provides a dimension that allows us to extend beyond conventional concepts of searchability, reusability, composability and interoperability of digital geospatial data. It provides contextual understanding on geodata that will enhance effective interpretations through possible reasoning capabilities.

To integrate INSPIRE in the semantic web, we created an INSPIRE ontology based on the official INSPIRE XML schemas(XSD) and codelists and interlinked the planned land use topic of Annex III with an ontology extracted from the XSDs of the German national standard XPlanung. We describe knowledge extraction procedures we use to integrate non-semantical data into already existing ontologies. We are diffrentiating between knowledge extraction methods with a provided schema (e.g. database schemas) and schemaless knowledge extraction methods for datasets which do not support or provide such information. However, from a semantic web perspective INSPIRE can be seen as a unifying framework worth exposing according to given semantic web standards and in the same way can simplify problem solving in the GIS community.

The benefits of the approach can be found in the unique flexibility of an ontology instead of some feature transformation, in the semantic-based application and in the versatility of use. We create a unified (Geo)SPARQL endpoint with interlink to other common ontologies and there by enrich the geospatial semantic web by providing massive previously inaccessible data sources. The access to those data sources can thereby be achieved in a standardized way. The implementation of an INSPIRE Ontology can help to support interoperability for the benefits at local, national and European level.

Categories

Topic Area:  [2.9] Challenges and approaches to standardization of data and interoperability of systems.
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   Ontology, Semantic Web, Data Integration, Interoperability

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