Methods to Improve and Evaluate Spatial Data Infrastructures

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


This thesis mainly focuses on methods for improving and evaluating Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs). The aim has been threefold: to develop a framework for the management and evaluation of an SDI, to improve the accessibility of spatial data in an SDI, and to improve the cartography in view services in an SDI. Spatial Data Infrastructure has been identified as an umbrella covering spatial data handling procedures. The long-term implementation of SDI increases the need for short/middle term feedbacks from different perspectives. Thus, a precise strategic plan and accurate objectives have to be defined for the implementation of an efficient environment for spatial data collection and exchange in a region. In this thesis, a comprehensive study was conducted to review the current methods in the business management literature to approach to an
integrated framework for the implementation and evaluation of SDIs. In this context, four techniques were described and the usability of each technique in several aspects of SDI implementation was discussed.
SDI evaluation has been considered as one of the main challenges in recent years. Lack of a general goal oriented framework to assess an SDI from different perspectives was one of the main concerns of this thesis.
Among a number of the current methods in this research area, we focused on the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) as a general evaluation framework covering all perspectives in an SDI.
The assessment study opened a window to a number of important issues that ranged from the technical to the cartographic aspects of spatial data exchange in an SDI. To access the required datasets in an SDI, clearinghouse networks have been developed as a gateway to the data repositories. However, traditional clearinghouse networks do not satisfy the end user requirements. By adding a number of functionalities, we proposed a methodology to increase the percentage of accessing required data. These methods were based on predefined rules and additional
procedures within web processing services and service composition subjects to develop an expert system based clearinghouses.
From the cartography viewpoint, current methods for spatial data presentation do not satisfy the user requirements in an SDI environment. The main presentation problem occurs when spatial data are integrated from different sources. For appropriate cartography, we propose a number of methods, such as the polygon overlay method, which is an icon placement approach, to emphasize the more important layers and the color saturation method to decrease the color saturation of the unimportant layers and emphasize the foreground layer according to the visual hierarchy concept.
Another cartographic challenge is the geometrical and topological conflicts in data shown in view services. The geometrical inconsistency is due to the artificial discrepancy that occurs when displaying connected information
from different sources, which is caused by inaccuracies and different levels of details in the datasets. The semantic conflict is related to the definition of the related features, i.e., to the information models of the datasets. To overcome these conflicts and to fix the topological and geometric conflicts we use a semantic based expert system by utilizing an automatic cartography core containing a semantic rule based component. We proposed a system architecture that has an OWL (Web Ontology Language) based expert system to improve the cartography by adjusting and resolving topological and geometrical conflicts in geoportals.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Geography


  • Spatial data infrastructure, evaluation, balanced scorecard, geoportals, clearinghouse, web cartography, expert system, web services
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2012 May 16
  • Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University
Print ISBNs978-91-85793-26-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2012-05-16 Time: 13:00 Place: hörsal Världen, rum 111, Geocentrum I, Sölvegatan10, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Kraak, Menno-Jan Title: Prof. Affiliation: University of Twente (ITC The Netherlands) ---

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