Geo-ontology Tools: The Missing Link
Numerous authors have presented ontology building tools that have all been developed as part of academic projects and that are usually adaptations of more generic tools for geo-spatial applications. While we trust that these tools do their job for the special purpose they have been built, the GIScience user community is still a long way away from off-the-shelf ontology builders that can be used by GIS project managers. In this article, we present a comparative study of ontology building tools described in some twenty peer-reviewed GIScience journal articles. We analyze them from the perspective of two application domains, crime analysis and transportation/land use. For the latter, we developed a database schema, which is substantially different from the three main templates commonly used. The crime analysis application uses a rule base for an agent-based model that had no precursor. In both cases, the currently available set of tools cannot replace manual coding of ontologies for use with ESRI-based application software. Based on these experiences, we outline a requirements list of what the tools described in the first part of the article are missing to make them practical from an applications perspective. The result is an R&D agenda for this important aspect of GIScience.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-08-01