GIScience 2016 Workshop on Spatial Data on the Web (SDW16)

Workshop on Spatial Data on the Web 2016

at GIScience 2016; 9th International Conference on Geographic Information Science Montreal, Canada - September 27-30. 2016.

Workshop Description and Scope

In their first joint collaboration, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have established the Spatial Data on the Web Working Group. The group aims at investigating and providing guidance for the following challenges (1) how can spatial information best be integrated with other data on the Web; (2) how can machines and people discover that different facts in different datasets relate to the same place or feature, especially when this place is expressed or represented in different ways and at different levels of granularity; (3) and what are existing methods and tools to publish, discover, reuse, and meaningfully integrate spatial data. The group is presently surveying the landscape of existing theories, methods, tools, and standards and is creating a set of best practices for their use.

The GIScience community has a long standing interest and expertise in many of the issues outlined above. In fact, work on geospatial semantics, geographic information retrieval, data integration, and spatial data infrastructures, has been part of the GIScience research agenda for many years. Therefore, this workshop aims at bringing researchers together to (1) discuss typical challenges in publishing spatial data on the Web, (2) identify best practices, (3) point out conceptual and theoretical foundations that need to be strengthened or established, (4) identify common quality issues for existing data and lessons learned, (5) improve and develop existing geo-ontologies for the semantic annotation of spatial data, and (6) discuss interface and services that will further improve data linking, sharing, and retrieval across communities.

Workshop Topics

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

Workshop Format

The workshop will focus on intensive discussions and experience reports to identify common challenges and best practice for publishing spatial data on the Web. The workshop will accept two kinds of contributions, full research papers (6-8 pages) presenting new work, surveys, and major findings in the areas indicated above, as well as statements of interest (2-4 pages). While full papers will be selected based on the review results adhering to classical scientific quality criteria, the statements of interest should raise questions, present visions, and point to existing gaps. However, statements of interest will also be reviewed to ensure quality and clarity of the presented ideas. Papers should be formatted according to the Latex or Doc LNCS template. Papers will be published via CEUR-WS.

Submissions shall be made through easychair at .

To register for the workshop, please visit

Keynote Speaker

Pixelated Places: Bringing order to place knowledge on the web by Benjamin Adams.
A massive amount of place-based knowledge exists on the web embedded in the unstructured natural language data found in web pages, social media, historical documents, scientific articles, data abstracts, etc. This information is presented in a form for human consumption but at a scale that makes it impossible for us to fully comprehend. In this talk I will discuss two related research projects designed to make this wealth of unstructured place knowledge more accessible and interoperable with other spatial data on the web. In first part I will describe the development of Wahi (, a discrete global grid gazetteer service. Wahi maps 11 million places from GeoNames to cells in a hierarchical discrete global grid system (DGGS), and exposes the data as Linked Data. By incorporating place data into a DGGS, the gazetteer provides a common spatial framework to integrate heterogeneous ‘platial’ and spatial data for a variety of applications. In the second part I will present Frankenplace (, an exemplar application of the discrete global grid gazetteer. Frankenplace is an exploratory search engine that uses the place information in a web corpus to organize and visualize search results. I will discuss the role of the gazetteer in building the index, and use the experience of building Frankenplace to highlight some open challenges going forward for structuring place knowledge from unstructured data on the web.
Benjamin Adams is a research fellow at the Centre for eResearch at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research aims to close the gaps between the rich, diverse, but extremely complex universe of geographic data being generated daily and the operationalized, applied research outcomes that analysts of this geographic data are seeking. His work spans from core methods in spatiotemporal data analytics through to investigating new forms of interactive exploratory search and data infrastructure to support scientists and other researchers seeking to perform these analyses. From 2012-2013 he was a post doctoral researcher at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis where he worked on the modeling of scientific field observations to aid data integration and discovery in the ecological and environmental sciences. He received his Ph.D. in computer science with an emphasis in cognitivite science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Important Dates

Submission due: 27 May 2016 (deadline extended)

Acceptance Notification: 23 June 2016 (deadline extended)

Camera-ready Copies: 29 June 2016

Workshop: 27 September 2016

List of Accepted Papers

Tentative Program


Programme Committee

Related Activities


Please feel free to contact the organizers for further questions at jano @ geog . ucsb. edu.