Geospatial Ontologies &
Locating the Semantic Web
Open Geospatial Consortium, EOGEO
Steps to the Geospatial Semantic Web
• The GSW interoperability experiment: a step off the mark
• Up next: Geospatial Ontologies Workshop
• Going further: W3C Geo XG
• Yet further: Terra Cognita 2006
• On the horizon: instantiating the Local Web
Geospatial Semantic Convergence
• When geography-on-demand joins knowledge-with-location, the
result will be a richer and more capable Web of physical resources,
a Geospatial Semantic Web or Local Web
Geospatial Web services
Geospatial enablement of
Semantic enablement of the
World Wide Web
Resource identifier and Web
Which Geospatial Role?
Geographic Infromation System
Tasks / Processes
Common Geospatial Perspective
Aero Hydro Weather Solar Geo
OGC GSW Interoperability Experiment
• OGC - Open Geospatial Consortium
• GSW - Geospatial Semantic Web
• IE - Interoperability Experiment
• Two implementations (TASC-BBN and IFGI Muenster) of a geospatial
intelligence use case.
• Development of an actionable set of ontologies:
– Connected by common concepts and mapping rules
– Covering multiple knowledge domains
– Includes common OGC domains such as GML and Filter
• Methods for processing geospatial relationships and concepts in an
• Refinement of a geospatial semantic publish - find - bind +/- broker
• Initial definitions of semantic profiles for WFS and CS/W services.
• Lots of questions.
“Typical” Geospatial Query
(Intelligence / Logistics Domain)
“Which airfields within 500 miles of Kandahar support C5A aircraft?”
Aero Feature or
proximity? What does this
mean to a GIS ?
Statutory or Nautical?
Straight-line or driving?
Coordinate system? Afghanistan?
Centroid or outline?
GSW IE and Beyond
• The OGC geospatial semantic web interoperability experiment
tested initial architectures and technologies for cross-domain,
distributed geospatial knowledge query, leading to multiple
Geospatial Intelligence Query: GeoRSS geospatially enabled
“Which airfields within 500 miles of resource references
Kandahar support C5A aircraft”
Geospatial Ontologies workshops
(resource, process, service)
OWL-S OWL-S OWL-S
Description Description Description
DAFIF AIXM Gazetteer W3C Geospatial
Ontology Ontology Ontology Semantic Activities
Aero Data Aero Data Geonames
(DAFIF) WFS (AIXM) WFS Data Gazetteer
Multiple GSW Ontology Components
Problem Domain NGA Feature
Base Geospatial Ontology
Other Base Ontologies
W3C Geo XG
• W3C Incubator is a new type of activity for short-term and/or
• The (proposed) Geo XG has three objectives which address
needs of the Local Web:
– Immediate: update and harmonization with GeoRSS of the GEO
vocabulary, aka simplest useful geospatial ontology.
– Short Term: draft recommendations for a geospatial ontology
focused on Web resources and tasks.
– Longer Term: draft a charter for a proposed W3C Local Web WG
to address issues beginning with geotags and continuing towards
geospatial enablement of the Semantic Web.
• Initiating W3C members and interested experts are welcome!
• Startup in June 2006
Collaborative Expedition Workshop
• This event
• Workshop June 20-22, 2006 ( 3 days total) organized
by Jerry Hobbs, Todd Pehle, Brand Niemann, Susan
Turnbull, et al.
• 1st Day
– Networking geospatial information technology
• 2nd-3rd Days
– Focus on geospatial ontologies
Terra Cognita 2006
• November 6, 2006 in conjunction with ISWC’2006 in Athens, GA
• Day-long Workshop on geospatial topics related to the Semantic Web
• Mixed format (invited talk, panel, papers, plenary discussion)
– Authoring of geographic and geospatial ontologies
– Algorithms and software for geospatial reasoning, inference, rules processing, and
– Representation and interoperability of geography at different levels of semantic
abstraction: geometry, topology, cartography, and real world object descriptions.
– Representation, communication, and reasoning with spatial relationships
– Representation and processing of geographically ambiguous or unstructured
concepts and extents.
– Semantic mediation between information communities with geospatial dependencies.
– Semantic Web services for geospatial content (discovery, binding, invocation,
composition, and orchestration)
• Goal of concluding / endorsing charter for a W3C Local Web activity