Contextualization of geospatial database semantics for human-GIS interaction

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45 Scopus citations


Human interactions with geographical information are contextualized by problem-solving activities which endow meaning to geospatial data and processing. However, existing spatial data models have not taken this aspect of semantics into account. This paper extends spatial data semantics to include not only the contents and schemas, but also the contexts of their use. We specify such a semantic model in terms of three related components: activity-centric context representation, contextualized ontology space, and context mediated semantic exchange. Contextualization of spatial data semantics allows the same underlying data to take multiple semantic forms, and disambiguate spatial concepts based on localized contexts. We demonstrate how such a semantic model supports contextualized interpretation of vague spatial concepts during human-GIS interactions. We employ conversational dialogue as the mechanism to perform collaborative diagnosis of context and to coordinate sharing of meaning across agents and data sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-237
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Information Systems


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