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Open AccessArticle

An Empirical Evaluation of Data Interoperability—A Case of the Disaster Management Sector in Uganda

by Allan Mazimwe 1,*,†, Imed Hammouda 2,† and Anthony Gidudu 1
1
Department of Geomatics and Land Management, Makerere University, Kampala 00000, Uganda
2
Mediterranean Institute of Technology, South Mediterranean University, Tunis 1053, Tunisia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(11), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8110484
Received: 10 September 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 26 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Science in the Geospatial Domain)
One of the grand challenges of disaster management is for stakeholders to be able to discover, access, integrate and analyze task-appropriate data together with their associated algorithms and work-flows. Even with a growing number of initiatives to publish data in the disaster management sector using open principles, integration and reuse are still difficult due to existing interoperability barriers within datasets. Several frameworks for assessing data interoperability exist but do not generate best practice solutions to existing barriers based on the assessment they use. In this study, we assess interoperability for datasets in the disaster management sector in Uganda and identify generic solutions to interoperability challenges in the context of disaster management. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect qualitative data from sector stakeholders in Uganda. Data interoperability was measured to provide an understanding of interoperability in the sector. Interoperability maturity is measured using qualitative methods, while data compatibility metrics are computed from identifiers in the RDF-triple model. Results indicate high syntactic and technical interoperability maturity for data in the sector. On the contrary, there exists considerable semantic and legal interoperability barriers that hinder data integration and reuse in the sector. A mapping of the interoperability challenges in the disaster management sector to solutions reveals a potential to reuse established patterns for managing data interoperability. These include; the federated pattern, linked data patterns, broadcast pattern, rights and policy harmonization patterns, dissemination and awareness pattern, ontology design patterns among others. Thus a systematic approach to combining patterns is critical to managing data interoperability barriers among actors in the disaster management ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster; hazard; FAIR; data interoperability; patterns disaster; hazard; FAIR; data interoperability; patterns
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Mazimwe, A.; Hammouda, I.; Gidudu, A. An Empirical Evaluation of Data Interoperability—A Case of the Disaster Management Sector in Uganda. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 484.

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