Flexible Standardization: Making Interoperability Accessible to Agencies with Limited Resources
Cartography and Geographic Information Science
Semantic standardization is an integral part of sharing data for GIS and spatial analysis. It is part of a broader rubric of interoperability or the ability to share geographic information across multiple platforms and contexts. GIScience researchers have made considerable progress towards understanding and addressing the multiple challenges involved in achieving interoperability. For local government agencies interested in sharing spatial data, however, current interoperability approaches
... on object-oriented data models represent idealistic solutions to problems of semantic heterogeneity that often exceed the level of sophistication and funding available. They are waiting for the market to decide how interoperability should be resolved. In order to assist in this transition, this paper presents a rule-based Visual Basic application to standardize the semantics of simple spatial entities using several classification systems. We use the example of well-log data, and argue that this approach enables agencies to share and structure data effectively in an interim period during which market and research standards for semantic interoperability are being determined. It contributes to a geospatial data infrastructure, while allowing agencies to share spatial data in a manner consistent with their level of expertise and existing data structures.