Designing for Interoperability: Overcoming Semantic Differences

  • Francis Harvey
Part of the The Springer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science book series (SECS, volume 495)


Interoperability can be understood in a number of ways. In a minimal sense, even the capability to transfer data from one computer system to another without transformation loss can be identified as interoperability. In a broader sense, interoperability can be taken to suggest the ability of different applications to interact dynamically, facilitating the smooth interface of multiple information sources. This chapter examines interoperability in this second sense, specifically the role of semantics in facilitating the exchange of information.


Boundary Object Semantic View Semantic Interoperability Semantic Difference Project View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akrich M, Latour B 1992 A summary of convenient vocabulary for the semiotics of human and nonhuman assemblies. In Bijker, W, Law J (eds) Shaping Technology/Building Society.MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.: 259–264Google Scholar
  2. Ewusi-Mensah K 1997 Critical issues in abandoned information systems development projects. Communications of the ACM40(9) 74–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fujimura J H 1992 Crafting science: standardized packages, boundary objects, and ‘translation’. In Pickering A (eds) Science as Practice and Culture University of Chicago Press, Chicago: 168–211Google Scholar
  4. Harvey F 1997 Improving multi-purpose GIS design: participative design. In Hirtle S, Frank A U (eds) Spatial Information Theory: A Theoretical Basis for GIS. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 313–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Harvey F, Chrisman N R in press Boundary objects and the social construction of GIS technology. Environment and Planning AGoogle Scholar
  6. Herring J R 1990 Using category theory to model GIS applications. International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling (SDH 90). Zürich 2: 820–829Google Scholar
  7. King J L, Kraemer K L 1993 Models, facts, and the policy process: The political ecology of estimated truth. In Goodchild M, Parks B O, Stayaert L T (eds) Environmental Modeling with GIS. Oxford University Press, New York: 353–360Google Scholar
  8. Kuhn W 1994 Defining semantics for spatial data transfers. Sixth International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling (SDH 94). Edinburgh 2: 973–987Google Scholar
  9. Latour B 1988 The Pasteurization of France Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  10. Neumann L J, Star S L 1996 Making infrastructure: the dream of common language. PDC’96, Participatory Design Conference Cambridge, Mass. 1: 231–240Google Scholar
  11. Open GIS Consortium 1996 The OpenGIS Abstract Specification: An Object Model for Interoperable Geoprocessing,Revision 1 Project Document No. 96–015R1. Open GIS ConsortiumGoogle Scholar
  12. Park J 1997 Geographic information systems and problem solving environment. Crossroads 4(1): 3–8Google Scholar
  13. Star S L (ed) 1995 The Cultures of Computing Blackwell Publishers/The Sociological Review, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Star S L, Griesemer J R 1989 Institutional ecology, ‘translations’, and boundary objects: amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Social Studies of Science 19: 387–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis Harvey

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations