An architecture for ontology-based discovery and retrieval of geographic information
Finding and accessing suitable information in the open and distributed environments of current Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) is a crucial task. Catalogues provide searchable repositories of information descriptions, but the mechanisms to support the tasks of discovery and retrieval are still insufficient. Problems of semantic heterogeneity caused by synonyms and homonyms can arise during free-text search in catalogues. Moreover, once a suitable Web Feature Service (WFS) is found and accessed, the property names of a feature are often difficult to interpret. This paper introduces an architecture for ontology-based discovery and retrieval of geographic information that solves semantic heterogeneity problems of current query capabilities. Based on a (real-world) scenario from the area of flood management, the application of our approach shows that the information requestor can be efficiently supported.
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