This blog is new, and so is my study of the Semantic Web and its related technologies. However my study of GIS is not new at all. In fact my keen interest in GIS goes back about 30 years now, and is the core technology around which my career has focused.
So as I have been adding content to this blog whose name features the acronym ‘GIS’, all of it has been related to pure Semantic Web research without a geospatial component. In the unlikely event that someone happened across this blog, they would have to wonder about the disconnect between the blog name and its content.
Well finally it occurred to me how the two could and should be researched and recorded in these pages, and that is: how can GIS be integrated with Semantic Web technology? I will start with some ‘why’ questions to determine whether there is any benefit whatsoever to mix, or integrate, the two technologies. I guess the first place to start is to determine what benefit is there to using Semantic data stores, with or without a geospatial content, over traditional RDBMS.
In any event, the reason for this particular post is to link back to another blog post I came across that reports the state of testing geospatial RDF stores. I found it enlightening to see that many efforts are underway to integrate these two technologies, but at the same time got me thinking about several of the questions that I have just posed about justifying a purpose for doing so. I think it is a good start for a path to pursue in answering these questions, and if it is clear that a benefit is realized by representing geospatial data in a semantic web context, on how to proceed.
Here is a link to the blog post, which in turn appears to have further links to this topic.
Updated later on 12/15/14
Note: The referenced blog post has an excellent white paper available for download. In the white paper the following initiatives are mentioned and repeated here because they appear to have important future implications.
OGC Working Groups that are working on aspects of the GeoSPARQL standard are:
- GeoSemantics Domain Working Group (DGW), and
- GeoSPARQL Standard Working Group (SWG)
ISO 19125 and ISO 19107 are also standards that have been established by OGC for spatial feature representation.