Semantic Reference Systems

Geographic information systems (GIS) operate on spatial, temporal, and thematic data. The interpretation of the first two kinds of data is given by well-known spatial and temporal reference systems such as coordinate systems and calendars. Based on these reference systems, we can transform between coordinates and time stamps or measure distance in space and time. We can also project three-dimensional coordinates into two-dimensional representations for paper maps. What is needed is a reference system for the third kind of data. In analogy to spatial and temporal reference systems, semantic reference systems (SRS) allow the transformation and projection of thematic data or the calculation of semantic distance (called semantic similarity). Typical applications for such an SRS include the transformation or comparison of different conceptualizations between ...

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