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An application of problem and product ontologies for the revision of beach nourishments

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An ontological approach in GIS serves as a framework for the conceptualization of processes in the real world. In this paper, we examine an application in coastal change in the Netherlands, whereby beaches are subject to artificial nourishment to offset the effect of severe erosion. The use of ontologies helps to define two scenarios: S I determined by the regulations from the Ministry for Public Works; S II grounded on the abilities from an existing spatial dataset. A comparison between S I and S II shows that 72.8% of the objects suitable and unsuitable for nourishment are correctly classified. A higher overlap is found in areas where actual beach nourishments were carried out. Inaccuracies in attributes influence the determination of the objects. A sensitivity analysis applied to altitude illustrates a significant increase of objects suitable for nourishment for both scenarios, when altitude is decreased within the lower limit of the root mean square error for the 95% confidence interval. Moreover, the sensitivity of altitude shows that artificial boundaries for beach nourishment objects are not reasonable and consequently should be treated as vague objects.

Keywords: Accuracy assessment; Coastal movement; Fitness for use; Object determination; Problem ontology; Product ontology; Quality issues

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth Observation Systems, International Institute for Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation, PO Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands 2: LSIS, Université de Provence, 39 rue Joliot Curie, 13453 Marseille Cedex 13, France

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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