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GeoSPARQL 1.1 - Motivations, Details and Applications of the Decadal Update

Surround's Chief Data Architect, Nicholas Car, is the co-author of a newly-published journal article explaining the current, major, update to GeoSPARQL which is the Semantic Web's most important spatial data standard. the paper's citation is:

Car NJ, Homburg T. "GeoSPARQL 1.1: Motivations, Details and Applications of the Decadal Update to the Most Important Geospatial LOD Standard". ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2022; 11(2):117.


The journal article's Abstract:

In 2012, the Open Geospatial Consortium published GeoSPARQL defining “an RDF/OWL ontology for [spatial] information”, “SPARQL extension functions” for performing spatial operations on RDF data and “RIF rules” defining entailments to be drawn from graph pattern matching. In the 8+ years since its publication, GeoSPARQL has become the most important spatial Semantic Web standard, as judged by references to it in other Semantic Web standards and its wide use for Semantic Web data. An update to GeoSPARQL was proposed in 2019 to deliver a version 1.1 with a charter to: handle outstanding change requests and source new ones from the user community and to “better present” the standard, that is to better link all the standard’s parts and better document and exemplify elements.

Expected updates included new geometry representations, alignments to other ontologies, handling of new spatial referencing systems, and new artifact presentation. This paper describes motivating change requests and actual resultant updates in the candidate version 1.1 of the standard alongside reference implementations and usage examples. We also describe the theory behind particular updates, initial implementations of many parts of the standard, and our expectations for GeoSPARQL 1.1’s use.

Read the full article here


Figure 1

Figure 1: This figure, given in the journal article, is a screenshot of a test system delivering data from Geoscience Australia's floods database according to GeoSPARQL 1.1's model. Online at