Research action on Helping access to geographic information


Continuing the research action CONSUL, the objective of SISSI is to help the needs expression and the construction of its own data (maps, sets of data) using the needs and the resources available. In particular, SISSI studies the help of legend construction and of drescription of geographic treatments.

The action research in access has been active from 2005 to 2009

Leader of the research action :
Bénédicte Bucher


Objective :

The scientific objectives of this research project are to develop methods making possible for a user to ease data access and handling processes on these data. These methods are classically taken in charge by IGN but can be personalised. Among these processes there are for example a map creation, the data reorganisation to take implicit geographical information, useful in certain fields, or some operations of management like updating a data basis and the quality control. However, the stake of the research project is not to conceive these treatments but only to give access to them. This access must be done on the Web, via a navigator or Web services. The development of these methods includes the creation of: metadata models, methods of consultation, convivial user interfaces and methods of metadata acquisition.

The development of these applications lies on the creation of :

  • metadata models : we want to use the standards and to extend them or extrapolate them when it is necessary. The metadata must describe the products, the data files, handling processes and the software resources associated. They must respect a unified model.
  • consultation methods : the research project must rely on software architectures for consultation on the Web but does not have to study them. We will seek to comply with safety requirements in these architectures. We will concentrate on the mechanisms of derivation of an answer adapted to the user's need.
  • convivial user interfaces : the user should be able to specify his requirements in using if necessary various modes for communication (samples, natural language). There are important limits for the Web graphic interfaces . We will not seek to solve them.
  • methods of metadata acquisition .

Topic 1: Access to data and their structure
Researcher : Sandrine Balley
In this topic we want to enable the user to reach a geographical data file directly usable for the desired application. It relies on:

  • A help for the choice of the more suitable data, by guiding the user in the exploration of the contents specifications and of other metadata of the existing sets,
  • Mechanisms of filtering and reorganisation of the chosen set to improve its utilisability

Topic 2 : Access to the functions and complex handling
Researcher : Bénédicte Bucher
In this topic the user should have access to a plan of realisation of a handling more adapted to its need, or the realisation itself of this handling if it is possible. We distinguish two great cases:

  • access to a fonction : the handling is a fonction execution,
  • access to a complex activity: cthe handling is a sequency of actions which could be control operations to carry out by the user or execution of fonctions.

Topic 3 : Multimode man-machine interfaces
Researchers : Catherine Domingues, Bénédicte Bucher
We concentrate our work on the combined use of natural language and cartographic samples (in order to capitalise the first competences acquired in this field with the PhD of Frederic Hubert) which we apply to the design of legends.
The objective is to give an application to a user who holds a geographical data set. It will enable him to conceive a personalised legend and which complies with the rules of cartographic representation.

COGIT PhD on this topic


  • Collaboration with Marinette Revenu , computer sciences lecturer at ENSI CAEN, supervisor of the PhD of Yann Abd-el-Kader
  • Collaboration with Thérèse Libourel , computer sciences lecturer at the Montpellier University, supervisor of the PhD of Sandrine Balley
  • Participation to the European project Spirit
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