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Open AccessArticle

Coupling Knowledge with GIS Operations: The Benefits of Extended Operation Descriptions

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Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics—Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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Professorship Geoinformatics, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ozgun Akcay and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6020040
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 5 January 2017 / Accepted: 29 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
The automated development of spatial analysis workflows is one of the envisioned benefits of Web services that provide geoprocessing functionality. Automated workflow development requires the means to translate a user objective into a series of geographic information system (GIS) operations and to evaluate the match between data and operations. Even though full automation is yet out of reach, users benefit from formalized knowledge about operations that is available during workflow development. This article presents user support during workflow development based on a recent approach to extended operation descriptions. User support thereby focuses on the discovery of operations across GIS tools and the validation of chains of spatial analysis operations. The required knowledge about operations is stored in a knowledge base, which builds on an approach called geooperators and extends the geooperator approach with a data-type ontology for describing the interfaces of geooperators and for expressing constraints of geooperator inputs. The advantages of the knowledge base are demonstrated for the construction of a multi-criteria decision making workflow. This workflow contains a set of pre-processing tasks for the input datasets and eventually the calculation of a cost distance raster. A critical discussion of the complexity of the knowledge base and a comparison with existing approaches complement this contribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: geoprocessing; geooperators; spatial analysis workflows; service metadata geoprocessing; geooperators; spatial analysis workflows; service metadata
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Hofer, B.; Papadakis, E.; Mäs, S. Coupling Knowledge with GIS Operations: The Benefits of Extended Operation Descriptions. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 40.

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