[OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Representing Places With Intelligent URLs

P Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Wed Oct 6 14:14:54 PDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 3:45 PM, Geoff Hay <geoffrey.hay at otago.ac.nz> wrote:
> Hi
> The knowledge you are trying to encode should be represented as associations between individuals (this place contains that place etc) and concepts (city, park, post office delivery area, etc) (as in OWL) rather than a URI scheme (see Geonames).  The basic idea is to represent places in a way that allows inference (make implicit knowledge explicit) i.e. logical consequence
> e.g.
> Explicit: a country only has only one capital city

I am assuming the above is just for illustration, because we have


To make matters worse, we also have




and probably more.

> Explicit: NZ is a country
> Explicit: Wellington is the capital of NZ
> Explicit: 'Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui'  is the capital of NZ
> Implicit: Wellington and 'Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui' are the same place
> - you cant do this nicely with a URL scheme but an OWL reasoner can make such conclusions - yehar Semantic Web.  Actualy there is really no problem with your URI scheme otherwise. It looks exactly like what you would expect for REST Web Services URLs - as long as you don't expect your URLs to be the ultimate and final identifiers - that would break both of the two main assumptions behind the semantic web and its underlying formal logics.
> regards
> Geoff
> ________________________________________
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Landon Blake [lblake at ksninc.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, 6 October 2010 12:45 p.m.
> To: OSGeo Discussions
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Representing Places With Intelligent URLs
> A talk at the recent Location Business Summit and some reading I've done
> about the semantic web and microformats lately got me to thinking about
> a standard way to represent places, place names, place data on the web.
> (I must admit I'm a desktop software guy, not a web programmer.)
> I thought it would be awesome if there was a way to create a unique URL
> for places that was somewhat intelligent to humans. If this URL could
> point to a folder on a server with some basic information about a place,
> that would be even better.
> So I took a stab at creating this type of URL for my city, the City of
> Stockton. Here it is:
> http://www.standardwebmarkup.org/standard_places/north_america/united_st
> ates_of_america/california/san_joaquin_county/city_of_stockton/
> You can see the URL follows a logical hierarchy, and it would be easy to
> determine what the URL for the City of Sacramento, San Joaquin County,
> or Victory Park in the City of Stockton would be. Obviously the
> continent/country/state/county/city/location URL pattern would have to
> change for other parts of the world.
> I put a very simple HTML file with data about the City of Stockton here:
> http://www.standardwebmarkup.org/standard_places/north_america/united_st
> ates_of_america/california/san_joaquin_county/city_of_stockton/info.html
> The current info.html file is just a skeleton. It's more of a place
> holder right now than anything else.
> My thought was to also put a WKT file (place.wkt) representing the
> location of the place and a simple text file (data.txt) with facts about
> the place at this same URL:
> http://www.standardwebmarkup.org/standard_places/north_america/united_st
> ates_of_america/california/san_joaquin_county/city_of_stockton/
> Now, if someone wanted to write content about the City of Stockton, they
> could simply do something like this:
> <a
> href="http://www.standardwebmarkup.org/standard_places/north_america/uni
> ted_states_of_america/california/san_joaquin_county/city_of_stockton/">S
> tockton</a>
> If everyone that was putting web content about Stockton online did the
> same thing, search engine and other tools would be able to link data
> from this web content to a single location.
> This becomes even more powerful if we come up with some rules for the
> content of the info.html file, place.wkt file, and the data text file.
> Here are some examples:
> (1) Specify that the place.wkt file have both a point and a polygon WKT
> representation, or a linestring representation, of the place when
> appropriate.
> (2) Specify that the info.html file use a list with alternate place
> names. This list would be identified with an html class value of
> "alternate_place_names".
> (3) Specify that the data.txt file contain a relationships section that
> can contain an optional relationship in the form of: City is the County
> Seat of County. (Stockton is the County Seat of San Joaquin County.)
> (4) Standardize the way common place facts are stored in the data.txt
> file. Population and area are examples.
> I realize there are some problems with this overall scheme. How do you
> store a city that straddles a state boundary, for example? Or what if
> you want to have a URL for the location of the Pacific Garbage Patch?
> However, I think we could use this system to uniquely identify and
> describe a lot of places in the world. We could then work on how to
> handle the edge cases.
> Is anyone else interested in ironing out the kinks for a system like
> this? Is there already a system like this in place? (If so, I have just
> revealed my great ignorance to everyone on this mailing list.)
> I'm interested in setting something up that could be maintained by a
> group of geospatial professionals, and not by any one company.
> I'm not sure how this system I describe would tie in with geonames. My
> first reaction when I stumbled on geonames is I couldn't find a unique
> and human understandable URL for a place.
> Still, I'm interested in microformats and place names, and I'd like to
> see a system like this that was "open" and non-proprietary.
> Let me know what you think.
> The Sunburned Surveyor
> Warning:
> Information provided via electronic media is not guaranteed against defects including translation and transmission errors. If the reader is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this information in error, please notify the sender immediately.
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Puneet Kishor http://www.punkish.org
Carbon Model http://carbonmodel.org
Charter Member, Open Source Geospatial Foundation http://www.osgeo.org
Science Commons Fellow, http://sciencecommons.org/about/whoweare/kishor
Nelson Institute, UW-Madison http://www.nelson.wisc.edu
Assertions are politics; backing up assertions with evidence is science

More information about the Discuss mailing list