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Supporting Spatial Semantics with SPARQL

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Though the intersection of spatial data and semantic web technologies holds significant promise, there are still many challenges before this promise can be realized. One of these challenges is query representation. History suggests that an appropriate solution is a specialized query language for spatial data; however, with a broad interpretation of the SPARQL specification and extensions that would be useful outside the spatial realm, one can use SPARQL to query spatial concepts effectively. This article establishes a set of desiderata for a query language capable of dealing with spatial Semantic Web-based data, discusses the challenges facing such a query language, and addresses these challenges with straightforward solutions that are broadly applicable. The effectiveness of these extensions is demonstrated using example queries.
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Keywords: SPARQL; query language; spatial

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: BBN Technologies and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Publication date: 01 December 2008

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