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Spatial Relation Predicates in Topographic Feature Semantics

January 1, 2013

Topographic data are designed and widely used for base maps of diverse applications, yet the power of these information sources largely relies on the interpretive skills of map readers and relational database expert users once the data are in map or geographic information system (GIS) form. Advances in geospatial semantic technology offer data model alternatives for explicating concepts and articulating complex data queries and statements. To understand and enrich the vocabulary of topographic feature properties for semantic technology, English language spatial relation predicates were analyzed in three standard topographic feature glossaries. The analytical approach drew from disciplinary concepts in geography, linguistics, and information science. Five major classes of spatial relation predicates were identified from the analysis; representations for most of these are not widely available. The classes are: part-whole (which are commonly modeled throughout semantic and linked-data networks), geometric, processes, human intention, and spatial prepositions. These are commonly found in the ‘real world’ and support the environmental science basis for digital topographical mapping. The spatial relation concepts are based on sets of relation terms presented in this chapter, though these lists are not prescriptive or exhaustive. The results of this study make explicit the concepts forming a broad set of spatial relation expressions, which in turn form the basis for expanding the range of possible queries for topographical data analysis and mapping.

Publication Year 2013
Title Spatial Relation Predicates in Topographic Feature Semantics
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-34359-9_10
Authors Dalia E. Varanka, Holly K. Caro
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70140601
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Center for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS)