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International Coastal Atlas Network: An Ontology-Based Mediator for Catalogue Services for the Web

TitleInternational Coastal Atlas Network: An Ontology-Based Mediator for Catalogue Services for the Web
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2008
AuthorsLassoued, Y, Boucelma, O, Wright, D, Bermudez, L
Conference NameJIGOT 2008, Journées Informations Géographiques et Observation de la Terre (Days of Geographic Information and Earth Observation)
Date Published24/11/2008
Conference LocationLaboratoire des Sciences de l’Information et des Systèmes (Laboratory of Information and Systems Sciences), Saint-Jérôme, Marseille, France

In recent years, significant momentum has occurred in the development of Internet resources for managers, decision makers, scientists and members of the public interested in the coast. Chief among these has been the development of coastal web atlases (CWAs), based on web-enabled geographic information systems (GIS). While multiple benefits are derived from these tailor-made atlases (e.g., speedy access to multiple sources of coastal data and information; economic use of time by avoiding individual contact with different data holders), the potential exists to derive added value from the integration of disparate CWAs, to optimize decision making at a variety of levels and across themes. However, current inventories within coastal atlases are insufficient for the purposes of interoperating between them. This paper describes the development of a semantic mediator prototype to provide a common access point to coastal data, maps and information from distributed CWAs. The prototype showcases how ontologies and ontology mappings can be used to integrate different heterogeneous and autonomous atlases (or information systems), using the Open Geospatial Consortium’s Catalogue Services for the Web. Lessons learned from this prototype will help build regional atlases and improve decision support systems as part of a new International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN).