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Combining Attribute Data and Spatial Datasets with the Updated Table Joining Service Standard

Pekka Latvala

(Submission #59)


Many datasets that are not inherently spatial, still contain information that can be used for linking them with existing spatial datasets. The linking between attribute datasets and spatial datasets can be executed via geographic identifiers that identify uniquely the different features in the spatial dataset, and are also used in the attribute dataset. Some examples of geographic identifiers are: telephone area codes, municipality names and postal codes.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has defined the Table Joining Service (TJS) standard in 2010. The TJS can be used for describing and serving attribute data in the XML-based Geographic Data Attribute Set (GDAS) format and joining them with spatial datasets. After the joining operation, the joined dataset can be for example, visualized via the Web Map Service. Recently, work has been started in the OGC for updating the current TJS standard.

In the TJS update process, there are plans to make some major changes to the standard that will be be demonstrated in this presentation. One of the changes is a plan to use the openAPI specification for describing the TJS interface. The OpenAPI specification is defined as JSON object and it can written either in JSON or YAML formats. The new TJS interface would be defined as a RESTful web interface where different HTTP operations, such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE can be used in the communication. Some benefits of the OpenAPI definition are that it is readable by both, humans and computers, and there are also tools available that can use the openAPI definition file for automatic code generation and API visualization.

One of the other identified change requests is to allow more input and output formats in the TJS interface. The plan is also to use JSON, instead of GDAS, as its main input and output formats. The change requests related to data joining include allowing case insensitivity for the geographic identifiers between attribute and spatial datasets. There is also a plan to include metadata on the successfulness of the join operation to its response that would indicate the identifiers that didn't have match in the data join. Some other identified change requests are related to the data normalization and providing mapping for the identifiers in cases, where the attribute dataset and spatial dataset don't have common geographic identifiers.


Topic Area:  [2.6] Cooperation on standardization
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   Yes
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   No
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   No

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