FIG Peer Review Journal


Ontology for Reference Geographical Data Facing the Challenge of Applications Diversity (5543)

Fatiha Ibannain (Morocco)
Dr./Ing Fatiha Ibannain
Agence nationale de la conservation foncière, du
cadastre et de la cartographie
BP, 6630, Rabat-Instituts, Madinat Al Irfane
Corresponding author Dr./Ing Fatiha Ibannain (email: f.ibannain[at], tel.: +212 664188847)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2012-03-08
Received 2011-11-01 / Accepted 2012-02-02
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2012 in Rome, Italy and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2012
ISBN 97887-90907-98-3 ISSN 2307-4086


This paper will investigate the contribution of reference data ontology as a mechanism of data accommodation for the requirements of a wide user’s category. The development of tools and models taking account of doers’ diversity is essential to face the integration problems, especially the semantic ones. Accordingly, the reference data identification constituted the first step of our approach to set up a reference model as a basic structure to be adapted to a large range of applications. The establishment of an ontology, which takes as a starting point the common practices between producers and users of reference spatial data enable to notify, initially, the definition approach of the reference objects types during the features cataloguing, then, the concepts retained at the time of conceptual modeling. Three principles are maintained to sustain this ontology. They concern (1) the independence and the complementarity of the objects types, (2) their adaptability to specific domains, and (3) their hierarchy. This approach is justified by the viewpoints of data producers and users, the existing data configurations and their former application scopes; so as to limit the semantic inconsistencies. A feature catalogue compliant with the standard ISO 19110 is elaborated according to those principles. The objects types are defined to elaborate specific conceptual models; then, the model of reference is designed in a total way with the aim of consolidating the various models to make it possible to constitute databases that share the same diagram. The exploitation of the reference model within the framework of a national SDI will be a considerable asset for data integration while mitigating the problems of heterogeneity commonly noted during the use of data resulting from different models and disciplines.
Keywords: modeling; semantic; ontology; reference data; cataloguing; standards; SDI