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Ontologies for geospatial information: Progress and challenges ahead

Christophe Claramunt

Abstract


Over the past 50 years or so the representation of spatial information within computerized systems has been widely addressed and developed in order to provide suitable data manipulation, analysis, and visualisation mechanisms. The range of applications is unlimited and nowadays impacts almost all sciences and practices. However, current conceptualisations and numerical representations of geospatial information still require the development of richer abstract models that match the complexity of spatial and temporal information. Geospatial ontologies are promising modelling alternatives that might favour the implementation and sharing of geographical information. The objective of this vision paper is to provide a short introduction to the principles behind semantic ontologies and how they can be applied to complex geospatial information, by evaluating their potential and limitations.

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