Computers & Geosciences, Volume 84, November 2015, Pages 86–95
By Simon Nieland, Niklas Moran, Birgit Kleinschmit, and Michael Förster
“Semantic heterogeneity remains a barrier to data comparability and standardisation of results in different fields of spatial research. Because of its thematic complexity, differing acquisition methods and national nomenclatures, interoperability of biodiversity monitoring information is especially difficult. Since data collection methods and interpretation manuals broadly vary there is a need for automatised, objective methodologies for the generation of comparable data-sets. Ontology-based applications offer vast opportunities in data management and standardisation. This study examines two data-sets of protected heathlands in Germany and Belgium which are based on remote sensing image classification and semantically formalised in an OWL2 ontology.
“The proposed methodology uses semantic relations of the two data-sets, which are (semi-)automatically derived from remote sensing imagery, to generate objective and comparable information about the status of protected areas by utilising kernel-based spatial reclassification. This automatised method suggests a generalisation approach, which is able to generate delineation of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) of the European biodiversity Natura 2000 network. Furthermore, it is able to transfer generalisation rules between areas surveyed with varying acquisition methods in different countries by taking into account automated inference of the underlying semantics. The generalisation results were compared with the manual delineation of terrestrial monitoring. For the different habitats in the two sites an accuracy of above 70% was detected. However, it has to be highlighted that the delineation of the ground-truth data inherits a high degree of uncertainty, which is discussed in this study.”