Ontologies and knowledge sharing in urban GIS

F. T. Fonseca, M. J. Egenhofer, C. A. Davis, K. A V Borges

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

121 Scopus citations


Data and knowledge exchange among users of urban information systems presents many challenges. This paper discusses issues related to the use of ontologies in the development of urban geographic information systems and proposes the creation of software components from diverse ontologies as a way to share knowledge and data. These software components are derived from ontologies using an object-oriented mapping. The translation of an ontology into an active information system component leads to ontology-driven information systems and, in the specific case of geographic applications, to ontology-driven geographic information systems. We analyze the urban environment from the ontologist's point of view and make some inferences about the relationship between knowledge and data sharing, and the theory of bona fide and fiat objects. We also discuss implementation issues, such as the use of Ontolingua as an ontology editor, and CORBA IDL generator, CORBA, and Java as object platforms. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages21
Specialist publicationComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
StatePublished - May 31 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecological Modeling
  • General Environmental Science
  • Urban Studies


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