Marinas and other ports and facilities for the recreational craft sector: an ontology domain to support spatial planning
Marinas and other ports and facilities for the recreational craft sector in Sardinia (Italy) can host more than 19,000 pleasure boats and yachts, according to a recent estimate (Osservatorio Nautico Nazionale, 2010); this capacity, at the national level, is second only to that of the Liguria region. However, Sardinian infrastructures and facilities are not part of a coherent network. Moreover, they are unevenly scattered along the coastline and are very diverse, in terms of type, dimension, and endowment of facilities for sailors. A key issue to be taken into account in the early stages of the preparation of a plan for the pleasure craft sector, which might create the conditions for the setting up of a coherent network, is the lack of a proper, detailed knowledge of the system of Sardinian marinas and other facilities. To this end, this paper begins with an analysis of current information (both spatial and non-spatial) and attempts to build a spatial database that integrates available data. The analysis identifies differences in structure and semantics, together with differences in purpose and date of production/update of the data, as the roots of inconsistencies among existing data produced by different sources. Such differences in structure and semantics risk, if not properly identified, considered and handled, to cause an incorrect integration of data. Following the methodology provided by the guidelines produced by the Ordnance Survey with regards to domain ontologies (Hart et al., 2007; Hart e Goodwin, 2007; Kovacs et al., 2006), the construction of an ontology of the domain of infrastructure and facilities for the recreational craft sector is therefore proposed as a possible solution to the problem. By applying this methodology, a â€˜knowledge glossary,' consisting of a shared vocabulary of core and secondary concepts and of relationships (some of which spatial) among concepts is developed, leading to the construction of a conceptual model of the domain, later formalized by means of the software ProtÃ©gÃ©.
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