Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Computer Science
Here are shown the main projects, prototypes and applications developed in the lab.
Aqui.io is a coordinate shortener with support to any spatial reference system. Its accuracy ranges from 10m to 1cm. Unlike URL shortener services, such as bit.ly and goo.gl, the Aqui.io does not generate a hash code, but encodes the coordinates using a simple and fast algorithm. No precision is lost, and no permanent storage of codes is required. Any WGS84 coordinate can be encoded using 8 characters, while high-precision UTM coordinates take up to 14 characters. Applications aim at facilitating the integration of location data in social media and in volunteered geographic information applications. View it on GitHub
The AST-PostGIS is an extension for PostgreSQL/PostGIS that incorporates advanced spatial data types and implements spatial integrity constraints. The extension reduces the distance between the conceptual and the physical designs of spatial databases, by providing richer representations for geo-object and geo-field geometries. It also offers procedures to assert the consistency of spatial relationships during data updates. Such procedures can also be used before enforcing spatial integrity constraints for the first time. View it on GitHub
GeoSQL+ is an online tool that allows posting SQL queries to a geographic database manager and visualizing the results as both tables and maps. Visual results can be accumulated and interactively manipulated, composing layers with user-configurable presentation that simulate the operation of geographic information systems. GeoSQL+ intends to support teaching spatial databases to students and professionals from Computer Science and other areas, such as geosciences, urbanism, and engineering. View it on GitHub
OMT-G Designer is an online diagramming application for the design of geographic database systems and applications based on the OMT-G data model, an object-oriented data model for geographic applications. The tool provides various consistency checks on the integrity of the schema, and includes a function that maps OMT-G geographic conceptual schemas into physical schemas, including the necessary spatial integrity constraints. The tool was developed using free software and aims to increase the practical and academic uses of OMT-G, by providing an open and platform-independent modeling resource. View it on GitHub
Bus routes are fundamental information for users when planning their way through the city. Reading and understanding the routes, which are usually presented as tables with street names, is a difficult task. In Ônibus BH, we present a method aimed at retrieving the route’s geometry based on its table and the city’s road network, which allows viewing the route on a map. Using the proposed method, we developed a web application for the city of Belo Horizonte. View it on GitHub
Gazetteers are instrumental in recognizing place names in documents such as Web pages, news, and social media messages. However, creating and maintaining gazetteers is still a complex and demanding task. We propose using Linked Data sources to put together gazetteer data that can be both broad (e.g. planetary) and deep (e.g., down to urban detail). Linked data sources also allow enriching the resulting gazetteer with a set of geographic and semantic relationships involving place names, other geographic and non-geographic terms, thus expanding the possibilities for solving typical GIR problems such as disambiguation and filtering. This work shows the results of efforts to compose and maintain an ontological gazetteer, in which places and their names are connected to other places and to non-geographic entities through geographic and semantic relationships. The objective of this proposal is to create, organize and populate a large ontological gazetteer with information obtained from the Web of Data, to be exposed as a Web service to applications and research initiatives on geographic information retrieval, text processing, named entity recognition and others. The resulting gazetteer (LoG) contains more than 13 million places, extracted from the four datasets used in this work: GeoNames, Freebase, DBPedia and LinkedGeoData. In addition, we present an analysis of how the datasets overlap one another.
Since the resources associated with the Web 2.0 allowed people to publish content produced by themselves, there have been initiatives to gather geographic information produced by volunteers. In this model of crowdsourcing, citizens are seen as spatially distributed “sensors”, able to collect different data types through Web applications. However, challenges related to spatial coverage, quality and motivation of volunteers require creative and diversified solutions for the development of data collection instruments. ThemeRise is a framework for generating such instruments, designed to allow administrators to choose between multiple functions to gather information and alternatives to spatially represent events, phenomena and geographic objects. The framework also provides resources to recognize and value the participation of volunteers. The creation of resources for collecting information on multiple themes can be made interactively in a Web browser, without no need for programming. Please see the tutorial for further information on how to use the ThemeRise.