Exposing vocabularies for soil as Linked Open Data

Standards to describe soil properties are well established, with many ISO specifications and
a few international thesauri available for specific applications. Besides, in recent years, the
European directive on ‘‘Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)” has brought together most of the existing standards into a well defined model. However, the adoption of these standards so far has not reached the level of semantic interoperability, defined in the paper, which would facilitate the building of data services that
reuse and combine data from different sources.
This paper reviews standards for describing soil data and reports on the work done within
the EC funded agINFRA project to apply Linked Data technologies to existing standards and
data in order to improve the interoperability of soil datasets. The main result of this work is
twofold. First, an RDF vocabulary for soil concepts based on the UML INSPIRE model was
published. Second, a KOS (Knowledge Organization System) for soil data was published and mapped to existing relevant KOS, based on the analysis of the SISI database of the CREA of Italy. This work also has a methodological value, in that it proposes and applies a methodology to standardize metadata used in local scientific databases, a very common situation in the scientific domain.Finally, this work aims at contributing towards a wider adoption of the INSPIRE directive, by providing an RDF version of it.

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