Adapted Rules for UML Modelling of Geospatial Information for Model-Driven Implementation as OWL Ontologies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2019, 8 (9), . 10.3390/ijgi8090365
This study aims to improve the implementation of models of geospatial information in Web Ontology Language (OWL). Large amounts of geospatial information are maintained in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based on models according to the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and standards from ISO/TC 211 and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Sharing models and geospatial information in the Semantic Web will increase the usability and value of models and information, as well as enable linking with spatial and non-spatial information from other domains. Methods for conversion from UML to OWL for basic concepts used in models of geospatial information have been studied and evaluated. Primary conversion challenges have been identified with specific attention to whether adapted rules for UML modelling could contribute to improved conversions. Results indicated that restrictions related to abstract classes, unions, compositions and code lists in UML are challenging in the Open World Assumption (OWA) on which OWL is based. Two conversion challenges are addressed by adding more semantics to UML models: global properties and reuse of external concepts. The proposed solution is formalized in a UML profile supported by rules and recommendations and demonstrated with a UML model based on the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) standard ISO 14825 Geographic Data Files (GDF). The scope of the resulting ontology will determine to what degree the restrictions shall be maintained in OWL, and different conversion methods are needed for different scopes.