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Geocoding with Linked Data

posted Mar 7, 2016, 8:05 AM by Enrico Fagnoni   [ updated Mar 14, 2017, 7:15 AM by Chiara Casalino ]

Geocoding (sometimes called forward geocoding) uses a description of a location, typically a postal address or place name, to find geographic coordinates. 
There are many geocoders, the most known are Google Maps, Bing Maps and OpenStreetMap. The former two are commercial services which provide an API interface. The latter is a collaborative open source project which provides both APIs and raw data. All solutions pose some problems to companies that need to integrate geocoding information in their private information systems.

The GeocodIT project leverages the many existing linked (open) data and the semantic web practices to develop a near-to-zero maintenance private geocoder. The project,  freely available to GitHub, exposes:
  • a forward geocoder API that integrates Google Maps, Bing Maps and OSM with linked data;
  • a graph database containing all linked data;
  • a SPARQL query endpoint;
  • a shareable knowledge base description based on KEES open language profile.
See the complete case study is available in LinkedData.Center documentation portal.