Towards Interoperability of Geopolitical Information within FAO

Caracciolo, Caterina and Iglesias Sucasas, Marta and Keizer, Johannes Towards Interoperability of Geopolitical Information within FAO. Computing and Informatics, 2006, vol. 27, pp. 119-129. [Journal article (Print/Paginated)]

This paper reports ongoing work on using an ontology as a mechanism to bridge various types of country-based information systems
at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The type of geopolitical information addressed by this work include country
international classifications, country names in the five FAO languages
(Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish), and other geographical
information such as water bodies. Although the data required for the
geopolitical ontology is already available, it is scattered across many information
systems, which are often not clearly connected to one another.
The expected advantage of using an ontology to achieve interoperability
is that it can accommodate semantic relationships (between countries
and geographical entities) that can be exploited for inference. Moreover,
in virtue of the standardized semanticsoriented languages used to encode
the ontology, it will provide a highly sharable and reusable resource for
the international community.
This paper describes the geopolitical information to manage, presents
the requirements imposed on the ontology and gives details about the
ontology prototype. Finally, it discusses design issues and draws some
preliminary conclusions.

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