One of the important problems facing users and providers of geospatial information is to bridge terminology and language gaps that currently hinder the flow of information.
At the moment, users searching for information from geospatial databases must search for the same concepts, vocabulary, and language as those of the database Otherwise, their search may not yield relevant results. For instance, users searching a database that is documented in English may not get results if they enter a French key word. Similarly, they may not get results if they enter a keyword that is singular instead of plural, or a term related to one recognized by the database. Matters are further complicated when users and providers work in different domains.
With M3GO, providers and users of geospatial data can bridge some terminology and language gaps that currently hinder the exchange of information.
For providers of geospatial data, M3GO brings more consistency to their information. With M3GO, they can combine data from multiple sources and different languages. M3GO will give them a standardized list of terms and translations relevant to their subject. It is an invaluable tool for updating their databases.
For users of geospatial data, M3GO makes information more accessible, thereby saving them time.
M3GO can manage several geospatial ontologies of complete, agreed-upon descriptions of concepts in a specific field, in multiple languages. M3GO creates links between keywords related to concept definition, and between words in different languages. It also provides a feature to suggest the most appropriate keywords based on those links. Using M3GO, data providers can supply users with a wealth of information, including the translation of a given term in a given ontology, synonyms, related terms, and terms that include, or are included by, another term.
M3GO server uses many different standards, such as :
- Semantic Web:
- RDF (resource description framework);
- OWL (Web Ontology Language).
- 19109, rules for the definition of applications schemas;
- 19110, feature cataloguing;
- 19112, Spatial referencing by geographic identifiers (toponyms).
- OGC Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP);
- Feature based.
- Concept of services:
- Service, interface, operations;
- WSDL, SOAP, UDDI.
- ISO 639 for language definition;
- Standards for thesauri ISO 2788 and ISO 5964;
- Geospatial Ontology Group;
- Semantic Web research group.
M3GO has been tested with different partners: the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (CHS and DGHP), Natural Resources Canada (CIT et GeoAccess), NatureServe Canada, Environment Canada, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and Laval University. GeoInnovations contributed financially to the development of M3GO.