Ontology-Based Formal Specifications for User-Friendly Geospatial Data Discovery

  • Ammar MechoucheEmail author
  • Nathalie Abadie
  • Emeric Prouteau
  • Sébastien Mustière
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 471)


Nowadays, a huge amount of geodata is available. In this context, efficient discovery and retrieval of geographic data is a key issue to assess their fitness for use and optimal reuse. Such processes are mainly based on metadata. Over the last decade, standardization efforts have been made by the International Standard Organization (ISO) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in the field of syntactic interoperability between geographic information components. Among existing standards, ISO-19115 standard provides an abstract specification of metadata for geospatial data discovery and exploration, ISO-19110 defines feature catalogues, and ISO-19131 defines data product specifications. Yet, information provided by these standardized metadata is not always formalized enough to enable efficient discovery, understanding and comparison of available datasets. Notably, information regarding geodata capture rules can be represented only through free text into the standard metadata (ISO 19131).More generally, geospatial database capture specifications are a very complex but very rich source of knowledge about geospatial data. They could be used with benefits in geospatial data discovery process if they would be represented in a more formal way than in existing ISO standards. In this context, we propose a model to formalize geospatial databases capture specifications. Firstly, we extend existing standards to represent information that was insufficiently formalized. Second, we propose an OWL representation of our global model. This ontological approach enables to overcome the limitations related to string-based queries and to provide efficient access to data capture information. Finally, we implement this model as a Web application allowing users to discover the available geospatial data and to access to their specifications through a user-friendly interface.


Feature Class Domain Ontology International Standard Organization Database Schema Geospatial Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ammar Mechouche
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathalie Abadie
    • 1
  • Emeric Prouteau
    • 1
  • Sébastien Mustière
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire COGITInstitut Géographique NationalSaint-MandéFrance

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