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A Task-Based Ontology Approach to Automate Geospatial Data Retrieval

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This paper presents a task-based and Semantic Web approach to find geospatial data. The purpose of the project is to improve data discovery and facilitate automatic retrieval of data sources. The work presented here helps create the beginnings of a Geospatial Semantic Web. The intent is to create a system that provides appropriate results to application users who search for data when facing tasks such as emergency response or planning activities. In our task-based system, we formalize the relationships between types of tasks, including emergency response, and types of data sources needed for those tasks. Domain knowledge, including criteria describing data sources, is recorded in an ontology language. With the ontology, reasoning can be done to infer various types of information including which data sources meet specific criteria for use in particular tasks. The vision presented here is that in an emergency, for example, a user accesses a Web-based application and selects the type of emergency and the geographic area. The application then returns the types and locations (URLs) of the specific geospatial data needed. We explore the abilities and limitations of the OWL Web Ontology Language along with other Semantic Web technologies for this purpose.

Keywords: Data Search; Geospatial Semantic Web; OWL; Ontology; Task-Based

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Land Information & Computer Graphics Facility University of Wisconsin-Madison

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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