Representing the Semantics of Geographic Information in Ontologies
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Currently, one of the key issues facing applications and integration of Geographic Information Systems is the lack of interoperability among various systems due to the diversity of data representations. The semantics of geographic information have been identified to provide a conceptual model in which common understanding of the information can be achieved to support interoperability. Ontologies with capability of conceptualise information domains can be used as the tool for expressing the semantics. This paper describes how to utilise ontologies to capture the semantics of geographic information and further presents a way to represent and store spatial data in a knowledge base within an ontology. By representing geographic information in an ontology, the reasoning capability supplied by the knowledge representation can be explored to provide new methods for utilising and analysing spatial information.Interoperability is a key concern in the field of Geographic Information Sciences for the sharing of geographic information and the integration of geospatial processes. Web service technology is a mainstream approach to distribute GIS functionality in the Web environment and provide syntactic interoperability for different processes, and ontologies have been considered as a significant technique to achieve interoperability on the semantic level. This paper describes how the mainstream Web technologies can be applied for interoperability of geospatial processes and implements the methodology with a use case of specific processes.