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Ontological Foundations of Geographical Data

  • By: Kean Huat Soon
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

How can data users obtain geographical data that is relevant or at least closely related to their interests? One solution is to understand what geographical data really mean. How to describe the meaning of data? Metadata, which consist of information such as keywords and positional accuracy about the data, seem to solve half the problem. Metadata include geographical terms such as river and mountain, which are used to describe the content of a given geographical data set. These terms, however, are often ambiguous: Two different terms can refer to the same thing for different people. For instance, river and stream or hill and mountain are different terms that can refer to the same feature. How can one resolve such issues, or at least mitigate ...

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