University of Twente Student Theses


Enhancing Spatial web search with Semantic Web Technology and Metadata Visualisation

Gwenzi, Juliet (2010) Enhancing Spatial web search with Semantic Web Technology and Metadata Visualisation.

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Abstract:The ability to discover information hosted by disparate data sources in an efficient manner is of great importance for quick and informed decision making in many disciplines, more so in the wake of natural disasters. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) have created an open environment for sharing information over the web in a faster and more efficient way whereas geo-catalogue services play a pivotal role in the discovery and retrieval of the information offered by SDIs. However, current search mechanism which are based on keywords have proved inefficient as users face challenges in retrieving the right Geographic Information (GI) on the web. The problem is further exacerbated as more resources become available on the web. Enriching service descriptions (metadata) with semantic descriptions has been seen as a solution to the challenges. This research explores ways of bringing together semantic web technologies and geographic standards so as to improve the search functionality in geo-catalogues. Ontologies being the cornerstone of the semantic web, capture relationships between concepts thus ensuring semantic interoperability in dynamic environments. This research describes strategies to support geo-catalogues with ontologies and semantic annotations in which resources are linked to their metadata and ontology concept. Semantically enabled geo-catalogues make use of the underlying relationships though users still use keywords. The search space is increased in that all related concepts to the keyword are presented in an ontology visualizer allowing the user to navigate about the concepts. Ontology visualization is seen as an added advantage in that a user is helped in query formulate a better query by making use of the ontology concepts and their relationships as displayed in the ontology visualizer. Keywords geo-catalogue, service discovery, ontology, semantic annotation, ontology visualization
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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