IMPROVEMENTS IN AUTOMATED DERIVATION OF OWL ONTOLOGIES FROM GEOSPATIAL UML MODELS
Keywords: Ontologies, UML, Geospatial, MDA, Standards, OGC, ISO/TC 211
Abstract. Standards from ISO/TC 211 are the foundation for modelling a universe of discourse in a geospatial context. UML models based on the standards, and in particular based on the UML profile defined in ISO 19103, have been developed and implemented in applications and databases for a wide range of geospatial information, from international to national and agency level. Amounts of information has been collected, maintained and made available based on the models, but mainly through specific services and exchange formats for geospatial information. To make the models and the information available in The Semantic Web, the geospatial UML models need to be transformed from UML to OWL ontologies, and the information needs to be transformed from UML-based structures to RDF triples. This paper investigates methods for transforming UML models of geospatial information to OWL ontologies, identifies challenges, suggest improvements and identifies needs for further research. Several methods for automated transformation from geospatial UML models to OWL handle basic concepts, but some concepts and context-closed restrictions from UML cannot be directly transformed to the open world of The Semantic Web. None of the analysed methods handles all of these issues, and suggested improvements include combining and improving transformation rules, as well as modifications in the UML models. To what degree and how these issues need to be handled will depend on whether the scope of the ontologies is to simply present geospatial information on The Semantic Web, or if they shall be used in a bidirectional information exchange.