Towards self-service gis—combining the best of the semantic web and web gis

Alexandra Rowland, Erwin Folmer*, Wouter Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The field of geographic information science has grown exponentially over the last few decades and, particularly within the context of the pervasiveness of the internet, bears witness to a rapid transition of its associated technologies from stand-alone systems to increasingly networked and distributed systems as geospatial information becomes increasingly available online. With its long-standing history for innovation, the field has adopted many disruptive technologies from the fields of computer and information sciences through this transition towards web geographic information systems (GIS); most interestingly in the context of this research is the limited uptake of semantic web technologies by the field and its associated technologies, the lack of which has resulted in a technological disjoint between these fields. As the field seeks to make geospatial information more accessible to more users and in more contexts through ‘self-service’ applications, the use of these technologies is imperative to support the interoperability between distributed data sources. This paper aims to provide insight into what linked data tooling already exists, and based on the features of these, what may be possible for the achievement of self-service GIS. Findings include what visualisation, interactivity, analytics and usability features could be included in the realisation of self-service GIS, pointing to the opportunities that exist in bringing GIS technologies closer to the user.

Original languageEnglish
Article number753
JournalISPRS international journal of geo-information
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • Geographic information systems
  • Linked data
  • Self-service GIS
  • Semantic web
  • Web GIS
  • UT-Gold-D


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