Towards a knowledge base to support geoprocessing workflow development

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



The spatial analysis functionalities of geographic information systems (GIS) are increasingly used across the web. Interface specifications of geoprocessing web services define the syntactic properties of the services (number and type of parameters) and provide textual descriptions of the operations. The discovery and reuse of web services based on these syntactic properties is restricted and has led to the quest for extended operation descriptions. A number of extended operation descriptions have been proposed and are reviewed in this article. The reviewed descriptions focus on particular steps of the workflow development process. In this article we analyse all phases of the development process of a spatial analysis workflow regarding the requirements of operation descriptions. These requirements are translated into a knowledge base that contains information about spatial analysis operations for the operations’ discovery, selection and composition. The knowledge base also foresees the automated discovery of operations in well-defined application contexts such as the transformation of data types or coordinate reference systems. The knowledge base combines the geooperator approach with elements of ontology-based approaches. The geooperator browser is the implementation of the discovery and selection of geoprocessing operations based on the knowledge base. A draft formalization of the knowledge base demonstrates its use and the support it provides during the composition of operations.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-716
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

External IDs

Scopus 84987657490
ORCID /0000-0002-9016-1996/work/144671006



  • Spatial analysis workflows, web services, operation descriptions, geooperators, geoprocessing, operation descriptions, geooperators, geoprocessing