Ontologies in the Geographic Information Sector

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Abstract

Geographical information (GI) or geoinformation describes phenomena associated directly or indirectly with a location (coordinates systems, address systems…) with respect to the Earth’s surface. Such phenomena can be either spatially discrete (represented by geometric primitives like points, lines, regions, etc.) such as a municipality, a road axis, etc. or spatially continuous (represented by interpolation on an image grid for example) such as terrain’s elevation, pollution diffusion, etc. GI is created by manipulating geographic data (or geospatial data) in a computerized system. Geospatial data can be acquired by different means: topographic survey, remote sensing, aerial photographs, GPS, laserscan, and all other types of sensors or survey techniques. Traditionally, these data are the core component of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which is the term commonly used to refer to the software packages that allow to capture, store, check, integrate, manipulate, analyze and display them.