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Tiers of ontology and consistency constraints in geographical information systems

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Consistency constraints placed on a database to assure, that values incorporated in the database are consistent, are a well known foundation of Geographical Information Systems. Unfortunately in real situations rules for consistency constraints are not so clear, and inconsistent ontologies are common place, not least in geographical information, covering as it does a much wider realm than many other information systems I have suggested elsewhere 5-tiers of ontology for GIS. Such an ontology can integrate different ontological approaches in a unified system. In this paper the relation of the 5-tier ontology and consistency constraints is explored, and it is shown that different constraints are appropriate to different tiers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2001

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