Application Schema Mapping Based on Ontology: An Approach for Geospatial Data Storage

By Paul, Manoj; Ghosh, S. K. | Journal of Digital Information Management, February 2008 | Go to article overview

Application Schema Mapping Based on Ontology: An Approach for Geospatial Data Storage


Paul, Manoj, Ghosh, S. K., Journal of Digital Information Management


ABSTRACT: The heterogeneous nature of geospatial data makes the sharing of it across organizations a complex issue. As a standard means of geospatial data encoding, Geography Markup Language (GML) has been proposed by Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), which facilitates sharing and exchange of geospatial information. With the proliferation of GML in many geospatial applications and storage support from the standard DBMS, the need arises for the efficient storage mechanism of GML data. This paper analyses approaches for XML data storage in traditional DBMS and proposes alternative solutions for GML. Every GML document structure is defined in an application schema. We propose an approach for GML storage based on the analysis of the underlying application schema. A semi-automatic mapping mechanism has been proposed for the application schema to relational schemas of standard database with the utilization of the domain ontology. A set of relational schema is presumed to exist for different geospatial features. The proposed ontology based schema-matching approach for GML storage enhances the mapping process, thus facilitates sharing of heterogeneous data repositories.

Categories and Subject Descriptors

I.7.2 [Document Preparation] Markup languages; H.2.8 [Database Applications]: Spatial databases and GIS

General Terms

Geography Markup Language, Data mapping, XML

Keywords: GML storage, Schema Mapping, Spatial Data Interoperability, OGC Standards, Ontology

1. Introduction

Spatial information (more specifically, geospatial information) is increasingly becoming essential almost in all areas of decision support applications, such as organization planning, land management, weather forecasting etc. It is also important an information resource in applications like crisis management system. Geospatial data is being collected in huge amount but in isolation as per the need of the data collector. They generally uses proprietary data formats, storage/access mechanisms. The growing increase in the demand for the spatial data and the availability of the same in diverse formats has raised several issues on interoperability for geospatial data sharing. Although it is found most of the times that the required geospatial data is available, the heterogeneity in the underlying data formats becomes a major hindrance towards successful sharing of the data. The problems that might arise due to heterogeneity of the data include structural heterogeneity (schematic/syntactic heterogeneity), and semantic heterogeneity [14, 26, 27].

The need of integrated access to geospatial data is felt by various nations and there are efforts towards the building of geospatial data infrastructure and portals at the regional as well as at the national level. Nevertheless, efforts for building a Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) are also on the rise. The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) [21], an attempt towards forming a national level geospatial data infrastructure, faces several problems arising due to the heterogeneity in geospatial data. There are proposals for building a central repository of geospatial information like the proposition of building a geospatial datawarehouse as reported by Labio et al. [25]. Datawarehouse integrates and stores necessary data in a central repository in advance and pre-computed results are readily available at query time. The disadvantages of this method are the storage of possibly outdated information and less flexibility. Carton et al. [26], on the other hand, proposes the concept of Federated Databases. Federated systems rely on the data storage and maintenance at the data sources. Unless a standard data-encoding scheme is put into practice, heterogeneity in data formats become severe for data integration.

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has specified several standards for integrating geospatial data and geo-processing resources into mainstream computing for enhancing interoperable geospatial information sharing. …

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