Additional Participants

Senior Personnel

Gilberto Camara, research partner
Marcello Tillio, research partner


Jorge Campos

Graduate Student

Frederico Fonseca
Andrea Rodriguez
Jim Farrugia

Organizational Partners

Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Brazil
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil
Catholic University Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Project Period

September 15, 1999-September 30, 2004

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



Under this project, researchers at the University of Maine and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) are collaborating to study new models for integrating geographic information. The two research teams complement each other, providing a unique synergy in conceptual modeling and systems development. Long-term visits by Brazilian researchers assure a tight cooperation, and provide for integrated research and education. The work focuses on the semantics of spatial data collections that are stored in geographic information systems or spatial databases. Such collections often have diverse database schemas and lack conventions that would make them easily compatible, so that they could be combined to perform an integrated analysis. The goal of this research is to develop computational models that will allow us to compare, harmonize, and integrate geographic information across different ontologies and different spatial data models. The approach consists of a new integrated method to assess similarity based on common parts, functions, and attributes. In these similarity assessments, different contexts are considered through the operations a user intents to perform with the harmonized data. The results of this project will provide meaningful comparisons and integration of geospatial information, enabling better interoperation among geographic information systems.

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