Sextant: Visualizing time-evolving linked geospatial data

Charalampos Nikolaou, Kallirroi Dogani, Konstantina Bereta, George Garbis, Manos Karpathiotakis, Kostis Kyzirakos, Manolis Koubarakis


The linked open data cloud is constantly evolving as datasets get continuously updated with newer versions. As a result, representing, querying, and visualizing the temporal dimension of linked data is crucial. This is especially important for geospatial datasets that form the backbone of large scale open data publication efforts in many sectors of the economy (e.g., the public sector, the Earth Observation sector). Although there has been some work on the representation and querying of linked geospatial data that change over time, to the best of our knowledge, there is currently no tool that offers spatio-temporal visualization of such data. This is in contrast with the existence of many tools for the visualization of the temporal evolution of geospatial data in the GIS area. In this article, we present Sextant, a Web-based system for the visualization and exploration of time-evolving linked geospatial data and the creation, sharing, and collaborative editing of “temporally-enriched” thematic maps which are produced by combining different sources of such data. We present the architecture of Sextant, give examples of its use and present applications in which we have deployed it.

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Keywords: Linked geospatial data; Linked spatiotemporal data; Visualization; Browsing; Exploration
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