Relative positioning for geospatial data using a Linked Data approach
This study proposes and uses a new positioning approach for geospatial data – relative positioning approach than absolute positioning, the most traditional and intuitive way of locating geospatial data. The reason of using relative positioning is threefold, the predominant reason for this is that relative positioning could potentially be a solution to the increasing problem of data integration; another important reason is the trend of open data in which the national base maps are becoming open. This enables the national base maps to act as reference datasets to which anyone could link their own geospatial data to create thematic maps; the final reason is that the emerging Semantic Web technologies provide a technical framework that could be utilised for the relative positioning and the integration of geospatial data on the Web.
The relative positioning is evaluated in a case study of cartographic mashups; the natural protected areas as thematic data are fully/partly represented by the geometry elements on a base map, and the data are structured in RDF according to predefined ontologies. We developed a series of tools for realizing the approach, including a data creation tool, a data assembly server and a data visualization client. The below figure shows the generated areas by relative positioning. They are six natural protected areas in Västernorrland County, Sweden.