News from the LODUM headquarters and all things Linked Open Data.

A linked data based web application will be presented as a student contribution by Friedrich Müller at the FOSSGIS Conference (11-13 March 2015) in Münster (  read the abstract ). The application shows dynamic geovisualizations of the exploration of cause-effect relationships between cancer types and environmental substances.

More information you can find here: “Linked Data basierter Explorer für krebsrelevante Ursache-Wirkungs-Beziehungen im raum-zeitlichen Kontext” (german version) and on Github (https://github.com/lodum/CancerExplorer).

The paper entitled “Automated Generation of Indoor Accessibility Information for Mobility-Impaired Individuals” by Nemanja Kostic and Dr Simon Scheider has been accepted at the AGILE 2015 conference, taking place 9 – 12 June in Lisbon.  The paper proposes a methodology to automate the extraction of information on the accessibility of indoor spaces, starting with CAD floor plans.  Simulation of movement is used to compute the accessible space of an indoor environment by comparing the degree of match between geometrical demands of navigation in a wheelchair and the relevant physical properties of the environment.  The authors also investigate digital representations of indoor environments and adopt the grid graph model as suitable both for running simulations and for deriving higher-level networks of indoor places and their connections.  These can be used to communicate the results of the simulations to users of assistive navigation systems in a way that more closely resembles the ways humans conceive of and communicate about space.

How can linked data help to describe and search library media?
The articleContent and context description – How linked spatio-temporal data enables novel information services for libraries (Authors: Simon Scheider, Auriol Degbelo, Werner Kuhn, Holger Przibytzin) to appear in gis.Science takes a look at the question. It discusses the usefulness of linked spatio-temporal data for the realization of tasks such as the description, searching and analysis of media, and illustrates the ideas presented through examples from LODUM and related work.
Congrats to the authors!

Simon Scheider, Jim Jones, Alber Sánchez and Carsten Keßler won the best paper award for Encoding and Querying Historic Map Content presented last week at AGILE conference in Castellón, Spain. In the paper, the authors provide a formal means to encode Historic Map content. They also present a tool to georeference and enrich historic maps content using external sources.

Congratulations to all!





Little Steps Towards Big Goals. Using Linked Data to Develop Next Generation Spatial Data Infrastructures (aka SDI 3.0) is the title of our short paper to be presented this week at the AGILE Conference 2014 in Castelló, Spain.

This paper is the outcome of a collaboration between the LIFE team and the Polish research group on Geosemantic Web and Linked Open Geodata, WOGIS.

The authors illustrate the benefits and potential of the Linked Open Data and the Semantic Web approach to support and enrich SDI applications, and emphasize the use of the LOD4WFS Adapter. The LOD4WFS Adapter was proposed by Jones et al., 2014 and offers an alternative for multi-perspective GI applications, creating on-demand data sets based on multiple GI data sources, and exposing this information using the OGC WFS Standard.

We are happy to announce we have two full papers accepted for AGILE 2014:

  • Simon Scheider, Jim Jones, Alber Sanchez and Carsten Keßler: Encoding and querying historic map content. The paper suggests an approach to describe historic map content and ways to formally encode  historic map content, allows the formulation of queries based on semantic content in maps.

AGILE 2014, the 17th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, will be held in Castellón (Spain) from June 3rd to June 6th 2014.

Most Geographic Information Systems (GIS) do not support the usage of Linked Open Data thus, we believe that combining both worlds; Linked Open Data (LOD) and Geographic Information Systems has a great potential to improve accessibility and interoperability in Geographic Information Systems.
Linked Open Data approach links data from different sources in the Web, and so is creating a rich network of information, a former master student from MSc. Geoinformatics course, at the University of Münster, Germany, demonstrated that the usage of geographic LOD datasets as data sources for WFS is perfectly feasible.
Jim Jones is the author of the master thesis and is now Research Associate at the Institute for Geoinformatics in the University of Munster for the LIFE project. In his master thesis explored and discussed the benefits of Linked Open Data as a data source for OGC Web services, giving a solution on how it can be technically linked in GIS. His Master thesis called “Making the Web of Data Available via Web Feature Services” goes trough an overview of Linked Geographic Data, showing how it is described in different vocabularies, describing also the Web Feature Service standards and exploring it’s capabilities through its standard operations. He provides a Server application for publishing Geographic Linked Open Datasets via Web Feature Services as a result of his thesis, which can be found on github.
To share your thoughts and future work initiatives you can address him at <jim.jones@uni-muenster.de> .



We are looking for a highly motivated Master students who would like to develop an indoor/outdoor navigation tool for the campus university of Munster.


 The aim of the thesis is to come up with a tool (mobile/web) , that will enable navigation trough the campus buildings based on a linked open data graph. A first idea is to start by selecting one building of the campus, e.g., the library and create a graph indoor environment with accessibility for disable persons, using linked open data (LOD).


 The Linked Data for eScience Services (LIFE) project, publishes resources as LOD, addressing all kinds of resources, ranged from articles and books across maps and raw data.


 The overall goal of LIFE project is to facilitate sharing the research of data and thus improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education. It is a two-year project, that was funded by the German Research Foundation, and is jointly carried out by the Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) at Institute for Geoinformatics (http://ifgi.uni-muenster.de), the University Library at University of Münster and a wide range of partners.


 If you are interested on knowing more about it email us: Simon <simonscheider@web.de>  or/and Auriol <degbelo@uni-muenster.de>

The Institute for Geoinformatic’s Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) offers a part time vacancy as a student collaborator (SH 10) in the LIFE project. Work load is 10 hour per week.

The main tasks are:

  1.  Programming LIFE ETL processes, in order to seamlessly integrate all kinds of resources, from articles and books over maps to row data to thus, improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education fields.
  2. Search Linked Data interfaces for retrieving content through spatio-temporal queries using SPARQL.

Requirements are a background or interest in one of the following areas:

  •    Web development
  •    Semantic web technologies / linked data
  •    eScience / Science 2.0 / open science
  •    Geographic information science (geoinformatics)
  •     German language skills are an asset, but not required.


For further information email us to,  Auriol degbelo@uni-muenster.de or/and Elisabet e_adev01@uni-muenster.de

Linked Data for eScience Services (LIFE) is a two-year project funded by the German Research Foundation, jointly carried out by the Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) at Institute for Geoinformatics (http://ifgi.uni-muenster.de) and the University Library (http://ulb.uni-muenster.de) at University of Münster. The overall goal of LIFE is to facilitate sharing of research data and thus, improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education. The approach addresses all kinds of resources, ranging from articles and books through maps to raw data.

The goal of the work (jointly conducted with the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster) is to develop a spatial recommender system which assists in exploring cause-effect relationships of significant incidence elevations of selected cancer types in a predefined geographic region. The system should draw on Linked Data techniques to answer two types of queries:

  • Given a significant elevation of the cancer risk (parameterized through the standardized incidence ratio) for a certain tumour and at a certain spatial unit (e.g. community level), what are possible (spatial) cancer causes and cancer risk factors?
  • Given an elevated cancer cause/risk factor in a geographic region, what are types of cancer likely to occur?

The tasks of the student include both a modelling component and an implementation component. The modelling aspect involves:

  • The specification of a use case (together with the IES – Institut für Epidemiologie und Sozialmedizin);
  • Identify useful taxonomies for cancer research as well as known causes and risk factors for selected cancer types in the monographies of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The implementation aspect includes:

  • The encoding of data from the use case using Linked Data techniques;
  • The development of a Web Interface.

The successful candidate is expected to write the Master’s thesis in the Summer Semester 2014. S/he should have epidemiological background knowledge about cancer etiologies or willingness to learn about them. Programming knowledge (HTML, CSS, PhP, Javascript) as well as knowledge of Semantic Web Technologies such as RDF, SPARQL is desirable but not mandatory.

Contact: degbelo@uni-muenster.de or simonscheider@web.de or dorothea.lemke@uni-muenster.de