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Adaptive and Optimized RDF Query Interface for Distributed WFS Data

Department of Computer Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA
Department of Geography, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marinos Kavouras and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(4), 108;
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 26 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
PDF [3368 KB, uploaded 5 April 2017]


Web Feature Service (WFS) is a protocol for accessing geospatial data stores such as databases and Shapefiles over the Web. However, WFS does not provide direct access to data distributed in multiple servers. In addition, WFS features extracted from their original sources are not convenient for user access due to the lack of connection to high-level concepts. Users are facing the choices of either querying each WFS server first and then integrating the results, or converting the data from all WFS servers to a more expressive format such as RDF (Resource Description Framework) and then querying the integrated data. The first choice requires additional programming while the second choice is not practical for large or frequently updated datasets. The new contribution of this paper is that we propose a novel adaptive and optimized RDF query interface to overcome the aforementioned limitation. Specifically, in this paper, we propose a novel algorithm to query and synthesize distributed WFS data through an RDF query interface, where users can specify data requests to multiple WFS servers using a single RDF query. Users can also define a simple configuration to associate WFS feature types, attributes, and values with RDF classes, properties, and values so that user queries can be written using a more uniform and informative vocabulary. The algorithm translates each RDF query written in SPARQL-like syntax to multiple WFS GetFeature requests, and then converts and integrates the multiple WFS results to get the answers to the original query. The generated GetFeature requests are sent asynchronously and simultaneously to WFS servers to take advantage of the server parallelism. The results of each GetFeature request are cached to improve query response time for subsequent queries that involve one or more of the cached requests. A JavaScript-based prototype is implemented and experimental results show that the query response time can be greatly reduced through fine-grained caching. View Full-Text
Keywords: WFS; RDF; SPARQL; JavaScript; caching WFS; RDF; SPARQL; JavaScript; caching

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Zhao, T.; Zhang, C.; Li, W. Adaptive and Optimized RDF Query Interface for Distributed WFS Data. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 108.

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