Chapter 13. Managing Space and Time

"But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up."

Albert Einstein

Many modern software applications need to manage information about time or space, and applications for the Semantic Web are no different. Such information is called spatial or temporal if it relates to space or time, respectively, and spatiotemporal if it involves both space and time. This chapter presents a brief discussion of how software can manage spatiotemporal information and then discusses some of the challenges facing these systems. Next you'll learn some strategies for developing appropriate RDF and OWL representations of spatiotemporal data for your own applications. Finally, the chapter presents a pair of coding examples to show how you can optimize your Semantic Web systems for spatial and temporal data.

In this chapter, you will learn about:

  • Spatial and temporal software

  • Spatial and temporal data representations for the Semantic Web

  • Extending Jena to exploit spatial and temporal information

Space and Time in Software

Notions of space and time are intimately related to everything that happens in the world because everything happens somewhere and some when. Almost every software system is concerned with the spatiotemporal aspect of data to some degree, though some deal only with the spatial or the temporal.

For some applications, the connection to space and time is very obvious. A package-tracking ...

Get Semantic Web Programming now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.