Towards Knowledge-Based Geospatial Data Integration and Visualization: A Case of Visualizing Urban Bicycling Suitability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Geospatial information plays an indispensable role in various interdisciplinary and spatially informed analyses. However, the use of geospatial information often entails many semantic intricacies relating to, among other issues, data integration and visualization. For the integration of data from different domains, merely using ontologies is inadequate for handling subtle and complex semantic relations raised by the multiple representations of geospatial data, as the domains have different conceptual views for modelling the geographic space. In addition, for geospatial data visualization - one of the most predominant ways of utilizing geospatial information - semantic intricacies arise as the visualization knowledge is difficult to interpret and utilize by non-geospatial experts. In this paper, we propose a knowledge-based approach using semantic technologies (coupling ontologies, semantic constraints, and semantic rules) to facilitate geospatial data integration and visualization. A traffic spatially informed study is developed as a case study: visualizing urban bicycling suitability. In the case study, we complement ontologies with semantic constraints for cross-domain data integration. In addition, we utilize ontologies and semantic rules to formalize geospatial data analysis and visualization knowledge at different abstraction levels, which enables machines to infer visualization means for geospatial data. The results demonstrate that the proposed framework can effectively handle subtle cross-domain semantic relations for data integration, and empower machines to derive satisfactory visualization results. The approach can facilitate the sharing and outreach of geospatial data and knowledge for various spatially informed studies.


External organisations
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Computer Science
  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


  • data visualization, Geospatial data integration, ontologies, semantic constraints, semantic rules
Original languageEnglish
Article number9085369
Pages (from-to)85473-85489
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 13
Publication categoryResearch