Raising Semantics-Awareness in Geospatial Metadata Management

Tracking #: 1719-2931

This paper is currently under review
Authors: 
Cristiano Fugazza
Monica Pepe
Alessandro Oggioni
Paolo Tagliolato
Paola Carrara

Responsible editor: 
Werner Kuhn

Submission type: 
Full Paper
Abstract: 
Geospatial metadata are often encoded in formats that either are not aimed at efficient retrieval of resources or are plainly outdated. Particularly, the quantum leap represented by the Linked Open Data (LOD) movement did not induce so far a consistent, interlinked baseline in the geospatial domain. Datasets, scientific literature related to them, and ultimately the researchers behind these products are only loosely connected; the corresponding metadata intelligible only to humans, duplicated in different systems, seldom consistently. Instead, our methodology for metadata management envisages i) editing via customizable web-based forms, ii) encoding of records in any XML metadata schema, iii) translation into RDF (involving semantic lift of metadata), and finally iv) back-translation into the original XML format with added semantics-aware features. Phase iii) relates metadata to RDF data structures that represent keywords, toponyms, researchers, institutes, and virtually any data structure in the LOD Cloud. Essentially, our framework fosters delegated metadata management as the entities referred to in metadata are independent, decentralized data structures with their own life cycle. Our approach, demonstrated in the context of INSPIRE metadata (the ISO 19115/19119 profile eliciting integration of European geospatial resources) is also applicable to a broad range of metadata standards, also non-geospatial ones.
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