Synonyms for INSPIRE spatial objects

The assets presented on this page, datasets and TreeMap visualisation, are part of the ELISE action study "using synonyms to improve the discovery of spatial data resources". They are the result of applying the suggested methodology by using the synonymous Finder tool to collect synonyms and related terms.


The ELISE action study "using synonyms to improve the discovery of spatial data resources" intended to demonstrate the wealth and benefits of reusing semantic resources. It also aimed to show how vocabularies, when linked and work properly together, can help improve the usability of online tools. For example, their input functionalities are more "natural" to a user who is not necessarily an expert in a particular domain. Both the methodology, the tool and the experiment provide means to promote semantic interoperability.

The methodology was applied in the spatial data field, particularly in some INSPIRE Directive resources.

The experiment identified three areas of possible crossed interactions within the environmental domain: agriculture, noise and water. The starting point is a set of spatial objects types from the INSPIRE  data models related to these "use cases". Some examples are:

The objective was to obtain semiautomatically synonyms from third-party vocabularies to break down the semantic challenges that jargon unintentionally can pose helping users interested in the domain but not mastering their semantics. 

When associated with the original term, the resulting terms could help improving the usability and discoverability of geoportals and data catalogues' data in general.

The resulting data sets are available below for download. An interactive visualisation allows to browse and discover synonyms and related term in the different use cases.


Visualising synonyms

The treemap starts with three "umbrella" topics Agriculture, Noise & Water, including in the next level, terms from the INSPIRE Directive guidelines (spatial objects).

As the user clicks on them, different terms expand into new ones.

The found synonyms and related terms can take the form of "labels" or "concepts" (generally URIs). 

In this example, they have been retrieved from third-party vocabularies, including LusTRE, Wordnet, and Wikidata.