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The chapter investigates the emerging of geo-ontologies from the spatial turn (Sect 1) and their general aims. The Sect. 2 of this inquiry is dedicated to show some taxonomies derived from the domain of information science and to underline the absence of a classification suitable for spreading geo-ontologies in the geographical debate. The Sect. 3 is concerned with a taxonomy for geo-ontologies grounded on some fundamental geographical distinctions. The basic idea is that such a taxonomy might best introduce geo-ontologies to the geographical debate that, in turn, might deeply influence the advancement of these ontologies in terms of conceptualizations and trace gradually the guidelines for a classification, in which the development of geo-ontologies would follow all the different sub-disciplines within the same geography.
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Cfr. Berners-Lee et al. (2001).
Cfr. Khun (2005).
About this fast-moving field, see Turner (2006), Goodchild (2007), Boll et al. (2008), Hudson-Smith and Crooks (2008).
Cfr. Mark (1993), Frank (1997), Smith and Mark (1998), Bittner and Winter (1999), Rodríguez et al. (1999), Bishr and Kuhn (2000, 2001), Câmara et al. (2000), Frank (2001), Rodrìguez and Egenhofer (2004), Visser (2004), Kavouras et al. (2005), Janowicz (2006), Euzenat and Shvaiko (2007), Buccella et al. (2008).
Cfr. Abdelmoty et al. (2005), Ressler et al. (2010), Battle and Kolas (2012), Perry and Herring (2012), Kyzirakos et al. (2014).
«Paraphrasing the general understanding of reuse in adjacent engineering disciplines ontology reuse can be defined as the process in which existing ontological knowledge is used as input to generate new ontologies. The ability of efficiently and effectively performing reuse is commonly acknowledged to play a crucial role in the large scale dissemination of ontologies and ontology-driven technologies, being thus a pre-requisite for the ongoing realization of the Semantic Web. Firstly, being reusable is an intrinsic property of ontologies, originally defined as means for “knowledge sharing and reuse”. Sharing and reusing existing ontologies increase the quality of the applications using them, as these applications become interoperable and are provided with a deeper, machine-processable and commonly agreed understanding of the underlying domain of interest. Secondly, analogously to other engineering disciplines, reusing existing ontologies, if performed in an efficient way, reduces the costs related to ontology development, because it avoids the re-implementation of ontological components, which are already available on the Web and can be directly—or after 41 some additional customization—integrated into a target ontology. Furthermore, it contributes to an enhancement of the quality of the ontological content, which is by reuse continuously revised by various parties» (Pâslaru-Bontaş 2007, pp. 41–2), and to an mutual understanding between different communities, and integration and aggregation of data and information.
Gibson (2009, p. 218).
This aim of this classification is to guide the reader through the main geo-ontologies of the contemporary debate, analyzing their fundamental, common and distinctive features, and showing the overlaps between different geographical domains. Obviously, the list is not complete and includes the most discussed, reused and quoted geo-ontologies, together with some non strictly geographical ontologies in which some geographical aspects are described.
In Tambassi and Magro (2015), Tambassi (2016a), I name this kind of geo-ontologies geo-ontologies Geomatics, topological and geometrical ontologies. Now, I think that Spatial ontologies best captures the content of this category in the simplest way.
- From a Geographical Perspective: Spatial Turn, Taxonomies and Geo-Ontologies
- Chapter 3