Land Cover Classification System v. 3 (or Land Cover Meta Language)
A classification process aims at structuring a specific knowledge domain
in order to create consistency and stability in communication between
individuals. In other terms classification is a way to create order
and stability for knowledge communication.
The LCML is an attempt to classify the "real world features" (specifically
Land Cover features) with a very simple groups of elements arranged in
different ways that act as building blocks to describe the more complex
semantic in any separate application ontology (legends).
LCML should be able to work as "boundary object" to mediate and support
negotiations of different ways to represent Land Cover around which
similarities and differences can be understood and expressed. This means
that classes derived by LCML can be customized to user requirements
but must have common identities between users.
The most distinctive theoretical characteristics of LCML are:
UML representation of LCML
- Essential elements of the language allowing to balance the goal
of a global standardization of Land Cover terms with the need for
enough detail of Land Cover description to ensure practical applicability.
In other words the "elements' must be the as much as possible limited in
number , representing very well accepted terms and being able to represent
also very distinctive land cover situations.
- Reduction as much as possible of complex descriptions and definitions.
- Fundamental idea of the language is that a predefined set of land
cover basic elements (called BASIC OBJECTS) enriched on their semantic
significance with external qualities and attributes and arranged in
different types of strata can be used to describe a wide variety of
distinctive and detailed land cover situations.
The main advantage of LCML is that a UML diagram, that is a visual
representation, is easier to read and understand in non-technical
contexts rather than the mathematical formalisation used for LCCS.
Moreover, the object-oriented structure of UML is a basis for implementation
in languages like JAVA or C++.
The final version of the LCML is then an easy to read picture of the
classification model without any constraints between different elements
composing a Land Cover Class.
XML schema definition for LCML
In order to use the LCML as a reference for the implementation of land
cover classification software, it is necessary to translate the UML concept
model to a computer oriented format. The XML Schema language from WC3
has been chosen for its immediate compliance with object-oriented structures,
for its worldwide diffusion and for its soundness in terms of documentation
resources, development and support.