Supporting Spatial Semantics with SPARQL

Presented at: Terra Cognita Workshop (Terra Cognita 2008)

by Dave Kolas

Though the intersection of spatial data and semantic web technologies holds significant promise, there are still many challenges before this promise can be realized. One of these challenges is query representation. History suggests that an appropriate solution is a specialized query language for spatial data; however, with a broad interpretation of the SPARQL specification and extensions that would be useful outside the spatial realm, one can use SPARQL to query spatial concepts effectively. This paper establishes a set of desiderata for a query language capable of dealing with spatial Semantic Web-based data, discusses the challenges facing such a query language, and addresses these challenges with straightforward solutions that are broadly applicable. The effectiveness of these extensions is demonstrated using example queries.

Keywords: SPARQL, query language, spatial

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