Publishing Geospatial Data as Linked Data: Graph Processing Techniques for Automated Feature Detection and Resolution within Hydrography GIS Products

2019-02-06T15:42:48Z (GMT) by McGibbney, Lewis John
Interesting, largely unexplored data analysis and information retrieval opportunities exist for GIS data. In their current form, traditional data usage patterns for data persisted in shapefiles or spatially-enabled relational databases are limited. Opportunities exist to achieve ESIP’s Winter 2019 theme of ‘increasing the use and value of Earth science data and information’ by transforming geospatial data from their original formats into their Resource Description Framework (RDF) manifestation. This work establishes an innovative workflow enabling the publication for Geospatial data persisted in geospatially enabled databases (PostGIS and MonetDB), ESRI shapefiles and XML, GML, KML, JSON, GeoJSON and CSV documents as graphs of linked open geospatial data. This affords the capability to identify implicit connections between related data that wasn't previously linked e.g. automating the detection of features present within large hydrography datasets as well as smaller regional examples and resolving features in a consistent fashion. This previously unavailable capability is achieved through the use of a semantic technology stack which leverages well matured standards within the Semantic Web space such as RDF as the data model, GeoSPARQL as the data access language and International Resource Identifier’s (IRI) for uniquely identifying and referencing entities such as rivers, streams and other water bodies. In anticipation of NASA’s forthcoming Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT – https://swot.jpl.nasa.gov) mission, which once launched in 2021 will make NASA’s first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water, this work uses Hydrography data products (USGS’s National Hydrography Dataset and other topically relevant examples) as the topic matter. The compelling result is a new, innovative data analysis and information retrieval capability which will increases the use and value of Earth science data (GIS) and information. This presentation was given at the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Winter Meeting in January 2019.