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Querying and Reasoning of Spatial Relations Based on Geographic Semantics

DU Chong 1,2,SI Wangli1,3,XU Jun1(1.State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System,Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research,CAS,Beijing 100101,China;2.College of Resources Environment & Tourism,Capital Normal University,Beijing 100037,China;3.College of Geological Engineering and Geomatics,Chang'an University,Xi'an 710064,China)  
The description of a spatial relation is the reflection of human's cognition of spatial objects.It is not only affected by the topology and metric,but also affected by geographic semantics,such as the categories of geographic entities and contexts.Currently,the researches about language aspects of spatial relations mostly focus on natural-language formalization,parsing of query sentences,and natural-language query interface.In these researches,spatial objects are usually abstracted into geometric figures.However,geographic objects are not simple geometric points,lines or polygons.Spatial relation queries that just consider geometry property of objects cannot always meet human's habits of language and cognition.So,in order to get a sound answer according with human cognition in spatial relation query,we have to take the semantic aspect of geographic objects into account.Based on previous work on natural-language formalization and human-subject tests,the functions of the natural-language terms which describe spatial relations are calculated in this paper.Then,we sum up some knowledge about how spatial relations between two different geographic objects with different geographic semantics are represented in natural language,and design a knowledge base to represent these knowledge rules.Finally,using the rules in knowledge base and GIS platform,the prototype of a query system is implemented.The results show that spatial relation queries which take geographic semantics into account can be more in accordance with people's cognitive habits of geographic knowledge.
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