Published in: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 2020
Abstract: In a variety of applications relying on geospatial data, getting insights into heterogeneous geodata sources is crucial for decision making, but often challenging. The reason is that it typically requires combining information coming from different sources via data integration techniques, and then making sense out of the combined data via sophisticated analysis methods. To address this challenge we rely on two well-established research areas: data integration and geovisual analytics, and propose to adopt an ontology-based approach to decouple the challenges of data access and analytics. Our framework consists of two modules centered around an ontology: (1) an ontology-based data integration (OBDI) module, in which mappings specify the relationship between the underlying data and a domain ontology; (2) a geovisual analytics (GeoVA) module, designed for the exploration of the integrated data, by explicitly making use of standard ontologies. In this framework, ontologies play a central role by providing a coherent view over the heterogeneous data, and by acting as a mediator for visual analysis tasks. We test our framework in a scenario for the investigation of the spatiotemporal patterns of meteorological and traffic data from several open data sources. Initial studies show that our approach is feasible for the exploration and understanding of heterogeneous geospatial data.
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