Apache Jena GeoSPARQL

An implementation of GeoSPARQL 1.0 standard for SPARQL query or API.

Integration with Fuseki is provided either by using the GeoSPARQL assembler or using the self-contained original jena-fuseki-geosparql. In either case, this page describes the GeoSPARQL supported features.

Getting Started

GeoSPARQL Jena can be accessed as a library using Maven etc. from Maven Central.



This implementation follows the 11-052r4 OGC GeoSPARQL standard (https://www.ogc.org/standards/geosparql). The implementation is pure Java and does not require any set-up or configuration of any third party relational databases and geospatial extensions.

It implements the six Conformance Classes described in the GeoSPARQL document:

  • Core
  • Topology Vocabulary
  • Geometry Extension
  • Geometry Topology
  • RDFS Entailment Extension
  • Query Rewrite Extension

The WKT (as described in 11-052r4) and GML 2.0 Simple Features Profile (10-100r3) serialisations are supported. Additional serialisations can be implemented by extending the org.apache.jena.geosparql.implementation.datatype.GeometryDatatype and registering with Jena’s org.apache.jena.datatypes.TypeMapper.

All three spatial relation families are supported: Simple Feature, Egenhofer and RCC8.

Indexing and caching of spatial objects and relations is performed on-demand during query execution. Therefore, set-up delays should be minimal. Spatial indexing is available based on the STRtree from the JTS library. The STRtree is readonly once built and contributions of a QuadTree implementation are welcome.

Benchmarking of the implementation against Strabon and Parliament has found it to be comparable or quicker. The benchmarking used was the Geographical query and dataset (http://geographica.di.uoa.gr/).

Additional Features

The following additional features are also provided:

  • Geometry properties are automatically calculated and do not need to be asserted in the dataset.
  • Conversion between EPSG spatial/coordinate reference systems is applied automatically. Therefore, mixed datasets or querying can be applied. This is reliance upon local installation of Apache SIS EPSG dataset, see Key Dependencies.
  • Units of measure are automatically converted to the appropriate units for the coordinate reference system.
  • Geometry, transformation and spatial relation results are stored in persistent and configurable time-limited caches to improve response times and reduce recalculations.
  • Dataset conversion between serialisations and spatial/coordinate reference systems. Tabular data can also be loaded, see RDF Tables project (https://github.com/galbiston/rdf-tables).
  • Functions to test Geometry properties directly on Geometry Literals have been included for convenience.

SPARQL Query Configuration

Using the library for SPARQL querying requires one line of code. All indexing and caching is performed during query execution and so there should be minimal delay during initialisation. This will register the Property Functions with ARQ query engine and configures the indexes used for time-limited caching.

There are three indexes which can be configured independently or switched off. These indexes retain data that may be required again when a query is being executed but may not be required between different queries. Therefore, the memory usage will grow during query execution and then recede as data is not re-used. All the indexes support concurrency and can be set to a maximum size or allowed to increase capacity as required.

  • Geometry Literal: Geometry objects following de-serialisation from Geometry Literal.
  • Geometry Transform: Geometry objects resulting from coordinate transformations between spatial reference systems.
  • Query Rewrite: results of spatial relations between Feature and Geometry spatial objects.

Testing has found up to 20% improvement in query completion durations using the indexes. The indexes can be configured by size, retention duration and frequency of clean up.

  • Basic setup with default values: GeoSPARQLConfig.setupMemoryIndex()

  • Indexes set to maximum sizes: GeoSPARQLConfig.setupMemoryIndexSize(50000, 50000, 50000)

  • Indexes set to remove objects not used after 5 seconds: GeoSPARQLConfig.setupMemoryIndexExpiry(5000, 5000, 5000)

  • No indexes setup (Query rewrite still performed but results not stored) : GeoSPARQLConfig.setupNoIndex()

  • No indexes and no query rewriting: GeoSPARQLConfig.setupNoIndex(false)

  • Reset indexes and other stored data: GeoSPARQLConfig.reset()

A variety of configuration methods are provided in org.apache.jena.geosparql.configuration.GeoSPARQLConfig. Caching of frequently used but small quantity data is also applied in several registries, e.g. coordinate reference systems and mathematical transformations.

Example GeoSPARQL query:

PREFIX geo: <http://www.opengis.net/ont/geosparql#>

    ?subj geo:sfContains ?obj
} ORDER by ?obj

Querying Datasets & Models with SPARQL

The setup of GeoSPARQL Jena only needs to be performed once in an application. After it is set up querying is performed using Jena’s standard query methods.

To query a Model with GeoSPARQL or standard SPARQL:

Model model = .....;
String query = ....;

try (QueryExecution qe = QueryExecution.create(query, model)) {
    ResultSet rs = qe.execSelect();

If your dataset needs to be separate from your application and accessed over HTTP then you probably need the GeoSPARQL Assembler to integrate with Fuseki. The GeoSPARQL functionality needs to be setup in the application or Fuseki server where the dataset is located.

It is recommended that hasDefaultGeometry properties are included in the dataset to access all functionality. It is necessary that SpatialObject classes are asserted or inferred (i.e. a reasoner with the GeoSPARQL schema is applied) in the dataset. Methods to prepare a dataset can be found in org.apache.jena.geosparql.configuration.GeoSPARQLOperations.

API The library can be used as an API in Java. The main class to handle

geometries and their spatial relations is the GeometryWrapper. This can be obtained by parsing the string representation of a geometry using the appropriate datatype (e.g. WKT or GML). Alternatively, a Literal can be extracted automatically using the GeometryWrapper.extract() method and registered datatypes. The GeometryWrapperFactory can be used to directly construct a GeometryWrapper. There is overlap between spatial relation families so repeated methods are not specified.

  • Parse a Geometry Literal: GeometryWrapper geometryWrapper = WKTDatatype.INSTANCE.parse("POINT(1 1)");

  • Extract from a Jena Literal: GeometryWrapper geometryWrapper = GeometryWrapper.extract(geometryLiteral);

  • Create from a JTS Geometry: GeometryWrapper geometryWrapper = GeometryWrapperFactory.createGeometry(geometry, srsURI, geometryDatatypeURI);

  • Create from a JTS Point Geometry: GeometryWrapper geometryWrapper = GeometryWrapperFactory.createPoint(coordinate, srsURI, geometryDatatypeURI);

  • Convert CRS/SRS: GeometryWrapper otherGeometryWrapper = geometryWrapper.convertCRS("http://www.opengis.net/def/crs/EPSG/0/27700")

  • Spatial Relation: boolean isCrossing = geometryWrapper.crosses(otherGeometryWrapper);

  • DE-9IM Intersection Pattern: boolean isRelated = geometryWrapper.relate(otherGeometryWrapper, "TFFFTFFFT");

  • Geometry Property: boolean isEmpty = geometryWrapper.isEmpty();

The GeoSPARQL standard specifies that WKT Geometry Literals without an SRS URI are defaulted to CRS84 http://www.opengis.net/def/crs/OGC/1.3/CRS84.

Key Dependencies


The OGC GeoSPARQL standard supports representing and querying geospatial data on the Semantic Web. GeoSPARQL defines a vocabulary for representing geospatial data in RDF, and it defines an extension to the SPARQL query language for processing geospatial data. In addition, GeoSPARQL is designed to accommodate systems based on qualitative spatial reasoning and systems based on quantitative spatial computations.

The GeoSPARQL standard is based upon the OGC Simple Features standard (http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/sfa) used in relational databases. Modifications and enhancements have been made for usage with RDF and SPARQL. The Simple Features standard, and by extension GeoSPARQL, simplify calculations to Euclidean planer geometry. Therefore, datasets using a geographic spatial/coordinate reference system, which are based on latitude and longitude on an ellipsoid, e.g. WGS84, will have minor error introduced. This error has been deemed acceptable due to the simplification in calculation it offers.

Apache SIS/SIS_DATA Environment Variable

Apache Spatial Information System (SIS) is a free software, Java language library for developing geospatial applications. SIS provides data structures for geographic features and associated meta-data along with methods to manipulate those data structures. The library is an implementation of GeoAPI 3.0 interfaces and can be used for desktop or server applications.

A subset of the EPSG spatial/coordinate reference systems are included by default. The full EPSG dataset is not distributed due to the EPSG terms of use being incompatible with the Apache Licence. Several options are available to include the EPSG dataset by setting the SIS_DATA environment variable (http://sis.apache.org/epsg.html).

An embedded EPSG dataset can be included in a Gradle application by adding the following dependency to build.gradle:

ext.sisVersion = "1.1"
implementation "org.apache.sis.non-free:sis-embedded-data:$sisVersion"

Java Topology Suite

The JTS Topology Suite is a Java library for creating and manipulating vector geometry.


The following are implementation points that may be useful during usage.

GeoSPARQL Schema

An RDF/XML schema has been published for the GeoSPARQL v1.0 standard (v1.0.1 - http://schemas.opengis.net/geosparql/1.0/geosparql_vocab_all.rdf). This can be applied to Jena Models (see the inference documentation) to provide RDFS and OWL inferencing on a GeoSPARQL conforming dataset. However, the published schema does not conform with the standard.

The property hasDefaultGeometry is missing from the schema and instead the defaultGeometry property is stated.

This prevents RDFS inferencing being performed correctly and has been reported to the OGC Standards Tracker. A corrected version of the schema is available in the Resources folder.

Spatial Relations

The GeoSPARQL and Simple Features standard both define the DE-9IM intersection patterns for the three spatial relation families. However, these patterns are not always consistent with the patterns stated by the JTS library for certain relations.

For example, GeoSPARQL/Simple Features use TFFFTFFFT equals relations in Simple Feature, Egenhofer and RCC8. However, this does not yield the usually expected result when comparing a pair of point geometries. The Simple Features standard states that the boundary of a point is empty. Therefore, the boundary intersection of two points would also be empty so give a negative comparison result.

JTS, and other libraries, use the alternative intersection pattern of T*F**FFF*. This is a combination of the within and contains relations and yields the expected results for all geometry types.

The spatial relations utilised by JTS have been implemented as the extension spatial:equals filter and property functions. A user can also supply their own DE-9IM intersection patterns by using the geof:relate filter function.

Spatial Relations and Geometry Shapes/Types

The spatial relations for the three spatial families do not apply to all combinations of the geometry shapes (Point, LineString, Polygon) and their collections (MultiPoint, MultiLineString, MultiPolygon). Therefore, some queries may not produce all the results that may initially be expected.

Some examples are:

  • In some relations there may only be results when a collection of shapes is being used, e.g. two multi-points can overlap but two points cannot.
  • A relation may only apply for one combination but not its reciprocal, e.g. a line may cross a polygon but a polygon may not cross a line.
  • The RCC8 family only applies to Polygon and MultiPolygon types.

Refer to pages 8-10 of 11-052r4 GeoSPARQL standard for more details.

Equals Relations

The three equals relations (sfEquals, ehEquals and rccEquals) use spatial equality and not lexical equality. Therefore, some comparisons using these relations may not be as expected.

The JTS description of sfEquals is:

  • True if two geometries have at least one point in common and no point of either geometry lies in the exterior of the other geometry.

Therefore, two empty geometries will return false as they are not spatially equal. Shapes which differ in the number of points but have the same geometry are equal and will return true.

e.g. LINESTRING (0 0, 0 10) and LINESTRING (0 0, 0 5, 0 10) are spatially equal.

Query Rewrite Extension

The Query Rewrite Extension provides for simpler querying syntax. Feature and Geometry can be used in spatial relations without needing the relations to be asserted in the dataset. This also means the Geometry Literal does not need to be specified in the query. In the case of Features this requires the hasDefaultGeometry property to be used in the dataset.

This means the query:

?subj geo:hasDefaultGeometry ?subjGeom .
?subjGeom geo:hasSerialization ?subjLit .

?obj geo:hasDefaultGeometry ?objGeom .
?objGeom geo:hasSerialization ?objLit .

FILTER(geof:sfContains(?subjLit, ?objLit))


?subj geo:sfContains ?obj .

Methods are available to apply the hasDefaultGeometry property to every Geometry with a single hasGeometry property, see org.apache.jena.geosparql.configuration.GeoSPARQLOperations.

Depending upon the spatial relation, queries may include the specified Feature and Geometry in the results. e.g. FeatureA is bound in a query on a dataset only containing FeatureA and GeometryA. The results FeatureA and GeometryA are returned rather than no results. Therefore, filtering using FILTER(!sameTerm(?subj, ?obj)) etc. may be needed in some cases. The query rewrite functionality can be switched off in the library configuration, see org.apache.jena.geosparql.configuration.GeoSPARQLConfig.

Each dataset is assigned a Query Rewrite Index to store the results of previous tests. There is the potential that relations are tested multiple times in a query (i.e. Feature-Feature, Feature-Geometry, Geometry-Geometry, Geometry-Feature). Therefore, it is useful to retain the results for at least a short period of time.

Iterating through all combinations of spatial relations for a dataset containing n Geometry Literals will produce 27n^2 true/false results (asserting the true result statements in a dataset would be a subset). Control is given on a dataset basis to allow choice in when and how storage of rewrite results is applied, e.g. store all found results on a small dataset but on demand for a large dataset.

This index can be configured on a global and individual dataset basis for the maximum size and duration until unused items are removed. Query rewriting can be switched on independently of the indexes, i.e. query rewriting can be performed but an index is configured to not store the result.

As an extension to the standard, supplying a Geometry Literal is also permitted. For example:

?subj geo:sfContains "POINT(0 0)"^^geo:wktLiteral .

Dataset Conversion

Methods to convert datasets between serialisations and spatial/coordinate reference systems are available in: org.apache.jena.geosparql..configuration.GeoSPARQLOperations

The following list shows some of the operations that can be performed. Once these operations have been performed they can be serialised to file or stored in a Jena TDB to remove the need to reprocess.

  • Load a Jena Model from file: Model dataModel = RDFDataMgr.loadModel("data.ttl");

  • Convert Feature-GeometryLiteral to the GeoSPARQL Feature-Geometry-GeometryLiteral structure: Model geosparqlModel = GeoSPARQLOperations.convertGeometryStructure(dataModel);

  • Convert Feature-Lat, Feature-Lon Geo predicates to the GeoSPARQL Feature-Geometry-GeometryLiteral structure, with option to remove Geo predicates: Model geosparqlModel = GeoSPARQLOperations.convertGeoPredicates(dataModel, true);

  • Assert additional hasDefaultGeometry statements for single hasGeometry triples, used in Query Rewriting: GeoSPARQLOperations.applyDefaultGeometry(geosparqlModel);

  • Convert Geometry Literals to the WGS84 spatial reference system and WKT datatype: Model model = GeoSPARQLOperations.convert(geosparqlModel, "http://www.opengis.net/def/crs/EPSG/0/4326", "http://www.opengis.net/ont/geosparql#wktLiteral");

  • Apply GeoSPARQL schema with RDFS inferencing and assert additional statements in the Model: GeoSPARQLOperations.applyInferencing(model);

  • Apply commonly used GeoSPARQL prefixes for URIs to the model: GeoSPARQLOperations.applyPrefixes(model);

  • Create Spatial Index for a Model within a Dataset for spatial querying: Dataset dataset = SpatialIndex.wrapModel(model);

Other operations are available and can be applied to a Dataset containing multiple Models and in some cases files and folders. These operations do not configure and set up the GeoSPARQL functions or indexes that are required for querying.

Spatial Index

A Spatial Index can be created to improve searching of a dataset. The Spatial Index is expected to be unique to the dataset and should not be shared between datasets. Once built the Spatial Index cannot have additional items added to it.

A Spatial Index is required for the jena-spatial property functions and is optional for the GeoSPARQL spatial relations. Only a single SRS can be used for a Spatial Index, and it is recommended that datasets are converted to a single SRS, see GeoSPARQLOperations.

Setting up a Spatial Index can be done through org.apache.jena.geosparql.configuration.GeoSPARQLConfig. Additional methods for building, loading and saving Spatial Indexes are provided in org.apache.jena.geosparql.spatial.SpatialIndex.

Units URI

Spatial/coordinate reference systems use a variety of measuring systems for defining distances. These can be specified using a URI identifier, as either URL or URN, with conversion undertaken automatically as required. It should be noted that there is error inherent in spatial reference systems and some variation in values may occur between different systems.

The following table gives some examples of units that are supported (additional units can be added to the UnitsRegistry using the javax.measure.Unit API). These URIs are all in the namespace http://www.opengis.net/def/uom/OGC/1.0/ and here use the prefix units.

URI Description
units:kilometre or units:kilometer Kilometres
units:metre or units:meter Metres
units:mile or units:statuteMile Miles
units:degree Degrees
units:radian Radians

Full listing of default Units can be found in org.apache.jena.geosparql.implementation.vocabulary.Unit_URI.

Geography Markup Language Support (GML)

The supported GML profile is GML 2.0 Simple Features Profile (10-100r3), which is a profile of GML 3.2.1 (07-036r1). The profile restricts the geometry shapes permitted in GML 3.2.1 to a subset, see 10-100r3 page 22. The profile supports Points, LineString and Polygon shapes used in WKT. There are also additional shape serialisations available in the profile that do not exist in WKT or JTS to provide simplified representations which would otherwise use LineStrings or Polygons. Curves can be described by LineStringSegment, Arc, Circle and CircleByCenterPoint. Surfaces can be formed similarly to Polygons or using Curves. These additional shapes can be read as part of a dataset or query but will not be produced if the SRS of the shape is transformed, instead a LineString or Polygon representation will be produced.

Details of the GML structure for these shapes can be found in the geometryPrimitives.xsd, geometryBasic0d1d.xsd, geometryBasic2d.xsd and geometryAggregates.xsd schemas.

The labelling of collections is as follows:

Collection Geometry
MultiPoint Point
MultiCurve LineString, Curve
MultiSurface Polygon, Surface
MultiGeometry Point, LineString, Curve, Polygon, Surface

Apache Jena Spatial Functions/WGS84 Geo Predicates

The jena-spatial module contains several SPARQL functions for querying datasets using the WGS84 Geo predicates for latitude (http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#lat) and longitude (http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#long). These jena-spatial functions are supported for both Geo predicates and Geometry Literals, i.e. a GeoSPARQL dataset. Additional SPARQL filter functions have been provided to convert Geo predicate properties into WKT strings and calculate Great Circle and Euclidean distances. The jena-spatialfunctions require setting up a Spatial Index for the target Dataset, e.g. GeoSPARQLConfig.setupSpatialIndex(dataset);, see Spatial Index section.

Supported Features

The Geo predicate form of spatial representation is restricted to only ‘Point’ shapes in the WGS84 spatial/coordinate reference system. The Geo predicates are properties of the Feature and do not use the properties and structure of the GeoSPARQL standard, including Geometry Literals. Methods are available to convert datasets from Geo predicates to GeoSPARQL structure, see: org.apache.jena.geosparql.configuration.GeoSPARQLOperations

The spatial relations and query re-writing of GeoSPARQL outlined previously has been implemented for Geo predicates. However, only certain spatial relations are valid for Point to Point relationships. Refer to pages 8-10 of 11-052r4 GeoSPARQL standard for more details.

Geo predicates can be converted to Geometry Literals in query and then used with the GeoSPARQL filter functions.

?subj wgs:lat ?lat .
?subj wgs:long ?lon .
BIND(spatialF:convertLatLon(?lat, ?lon) as ?point) .
#Coordinate order is Lon/Lat without stated SRS URI.
BIND("POLYGON((...))"^^<http://www.opengis.net/ont/geosparql#wktLiteral> AS ?box) .
FILTER(geof:sfContains(?box, ?point))

Alternatively, utilising more shapes, relations and spatial reference systems can be achieved by converting the dataset to the GeoSPARQL structure.

?subj geo:hasGeometry ?geom .
?geom geo:hasSerialization ?geomLit .
#Coordinate order is Lon/Lat without stated SRS URI.
BIND("POLYGON((...))"^^<http://www.opengis.net/ont/geosparql#wktLiteral> AS ?box) .
FILTER(geof:sfContains(?box, ?geomLit))

Datasets can contain both Geo predicates and Geometry Literals without interference. However, a dataset containing both types will only examine those Features which have Geometry Literals for spatial relations, i.e. the check for Geo predicates is a fallback when Geometry Literals aren’t found. Therefore, it is not recommended to insert new Geo predicate properties after a dataset has been converted to GeoSPARQL structure (unless corresponding Geometry and Geometry Literals are included).

Filter Functions

These filter functions are available in the http://jena.apache.org/function/spatial# namespace and here use the prefix spatialF.

Function Name Description
?wktString spatialF:convertLatLon(?lat, ?lon) Converts Lat and Lon double values into WKT string of a Point with WGS84 SRS.
?wktString spatialF:convertLatLonBox(?latMin, ?lonMin, ?latMax, ?lonMax) Converts Lat and Lon double values into WKT string of a Polygon forming a box with WGS84 SRS.
?boolean spatialF:equals(?geomLit1, ?geomLit2) True, if geomLit1 is spatially equal to geomLit2.
?boolean spatialF:nearby(?geomLit1, ?geomLit2, ?distance, ?unitsURI) True, if geomLit1 is within distance of geomLit2 using the distance units.
?boolean spatialF:withinCircle(?geomLit1, ?geomLit2, ?distance, ?unitsURI) True, if geomLit1 is within distance of geomLit2 using the distance units.
?radians spatialF:angle(?x1, ?y1, ?x2, ?y2) Angle clockwise from y-axis from Point(x1,y1) to Point (x2,y2) in 0 to 2π radians.
?degrees spatialF:angleDeg(?x, ?y1, ?x2, ?y2) Angle clockwise from y-axis from Point(x1,y1) to Point (x2,y2) in 0 to 360 degrees.
?distance spatialF:distance(?geomLit1, ?geomLit2, ?unitsURI) Distance between two Geometry Literals in distance units. Chooses distance measure based on SRS type. Great Circle distance for Geographic SRS and Euclidean otherwise.
?radians spatialF:azimuth(?lat1, ?lon1, ?lat2, ?lon2) Forward azimuth clockwise from North between two Lat/Lon Points in 0 to 2π radians.
?degrees spatialF:azimuthDeg(?lat1, ?lon1, ?lat2, ?lon2) Forward azimuth clockwise from North between two Lat/Lon Points in 0 to 360 degrees.
?distance spatialF:greatCircle(?lat1, ?lon1, ?lat2, ?lon2, ?unitsURI) Great Circle distance (Vincenty formula) between two Lat/Lon Points in distance units.
?distance spatialF:greatCircleGeom(?geomLit1, ?geomLit2, ?unitsURI) Great Circle distance (Vincenty formula) between two Geometry Literals in distance units. Use http://www.opengis.net/def/function/geosparql/distance from GeoSPARQL standard for Euclidean distance.
?geomLit2 spatialF:transform(?geomLit1, ?datatypeURI, ?srsURI) Transform Geometry Literal by Datatype and SRS.
?geomLit2 spatialF:transformDatatype(?geomLit1, ?datatypeURI) Transform Geometry Literal by Datatype.
?geomLit2 spatialF:transformSRS(?geomLit1, ?srsURI) Transform Geometry Literal by SRS.

Property Functions

These property functions are available in the http://jena.apache.org/spatial# namespace and here use the prefix spatial. This is the same namespace as the jena-spatial functions utilise and these form direct replacements. The subject Feature may be bound, to test the pattern is true, or unbound, to find all cases the pattern is true. These property functions require a Spatial Index to be setup for the dataset.

The optional ?limit parameter restricts the number of results returned. The default value is -1 which returns all results. No guarantee is given for ordering of results. The optional ?unitsURI parameter specifies the units of a distance. The default value is kilometres through the string or resource http://www.opengis.net/def/uom/OGC/1.0/kilometre.

The spatial:equals property function behaves the same way as the main GeoSPARQL property functions. Either, both or neither of the subject and object can be bound. A Spatial Index is not required for the dataset with the spatial:equals property function.

Function Name Description
?spatialObject1 spatial:equals ?spatialObject2 Find spatialObjects (i.e. features or geometries) that are spatially equal.
?feature spatial:intersectBox(?latMin ?lonMin ?latMax ?lonMax [ ?limit]) Find features that intersect the provided box, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:intersectBoxGeom(?geomLit1 ?geomLit2 [ ?limit]) Find features that intersect the provided box, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:withinBox(?latMin ?lonMin ?latMax ?lonMax [ ?limit]) Find features that intersect the provided box, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:withinBoxGeom(?geomLit1 ?geomLit2 [ ?limit]) Find features that are within the provided box, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:nearby(?lat ?lon ?radius [ ?unitsURI [ ?limit]]) Find features that are within radius of the distance units, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:nearbyGeom(?geomLit ?radius [ ?unitsURI [ ?limit]]) Find features that are within radius of the distance units, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:withinCircle(?lat ?lon ?radius [ ?unitsURI [ ?limit]]) Find features that are within radius of the distance units, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:withinCircleGeom(?geomLit ?radius [ ?unitsURI [ ?limit]]) Find features that are within radius of the distance units, up to the limit.

The Cardinal Functions find all Features that are present in the specified direction. In Geographic spatial reference systems (SRS), e.g. WGS84 and CRS84, the East/West directions wrap around. Therefore, a search is made from the shape’s edge for up to half the range of the SRS (i.e. 180 degrees in WGS84) and will continue across the East/West boundary if necessary. In other SRS, e.g. Projected onto a flat plane, the East/West check is made from the shape’s edge to the farthest limit of the SRS range, i.e. there is no wrap around.

Cardinal Function Name Description
?feature spatial:north(?lat ?lon [ ?limit]) Find features that are North of the Lat/Lon point (point to +90 degrees), up to the limit.
?feature spatial:northGeom(?geomLit [ ?limit]) Find features that are North of the Geometry Literal, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:south(?lat ?lon [ ?limit]) Find features that are South of the Lat/Lon point (point to -90 degrees), up to the limit.
?feature spatial:southGeom(?geomLit [ ?limit]) Find features that are South of the Geometry Literal, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:east(?lat ?lon [ ?limit]) Find features that are East of the Lat/Lon point (point plus 180 degrees longitude, wrapping round), up to the limit.
?feature spatial:eastGeom(?geomLit [ ?limit]) Find features that are East of the Geometry Literal, up to the limit.
?feature spatial:west(?lat ?lon [ ?limit]) Find features that are West of the Lat/Lon point (point minus 180 degrees longitude, wrapping round), up to the limit.
?feature spatial:westGeom(?geomLit [ ?limit]) Find features that are West of the Geometry Literal, up to the limit.

Geometry Property Filter Functions

The GeoSPARQL standard provides a set of properties related to geometries, see Section 8.4. These are applied on the Geometry resource and are automatically determined if not asserted in the data. However, it may be necessary to retrieve the properties of a Geometry Literal directly without an associated Geometry resource. Filter functions to do this have been included as part of the http://www.opengis.net/def/function/geosparql/ namespace as a minor variation to the GeoSPARQL standard. The relevant functions using the geof prefix are:

Geometry Property Filter Function Name Description
?integer geof:dimension(?geometryLiteral) Topological dimension, e.g. 0 for Point, 1 for LineString and 2 for Polygon.
?integer geof:coordinateDimension(?geometryLiteral) Coordinate dimension, e.g. 2 for XY coordinates and 4 for XYZM coordinates.
?integer geof:spatialDimension(?geometryLiteral) Spatial dimension, e.g. 2 for XY coordinates and 3 for XYZM coordinates.
?boolean geof:isEmpty(?geometryLiteral) True, if geometry is empty.
?boolean geof:isSimple(?geometryLiteral) True, if geometry is simple.
?boolean geof:isValid(?geometryLiteral) True, if geometry is topologically valid.

A dataset that follows the GeoSPARQL Feature-Geometry-GeometryLiteral can have simpler SPARQL queries without needing to use these functions by taking advantage of the Query Rewriting functionality. The geof:isValid filter function and geo:isValid property for a Geometry resource are not part of the GeoSPARQL standard but have been included as a minor variation.

Future Work


The following individuals have made contributions to this project:

  • Greg Albiston
  • Haozhe Chen
  • Taha Osman

Why Use This Implementation?

There are several implementations of the GeoSPARQL standard. The conformance and completeness of these implementations is difficult to ascertain and varies between features.

However, the following may be of interest when considering whether to use this implementation based on reviewing several alternatives.

This Implementation Other Implementations
Implements all six components of the GeoSPARQL standard. Generally partially implement the Geometry Topology and Geometry Extensions. Do not implement the Query Rewrite Extension.
Pure Java and does not require a supporting relational database. Configuration requires a single line of code (although Apache SIS may need some setting up, see above). Require setting up a database, configuring a geospatial extension and setting environment variables.
Uses Jena, which conforms to the W3C standards for RDF and SPARQL. New versions of the standards will quickly feed through. Not fully RDF and SPARQL compliant, e.g. RDFS/OWL inferencing or SPARQL syntax. Adding your own schema may not produce inferences.
Automatically determines geometry properties and handles mixed cases of units or coordinate reference systems. The GeoSPARQL standard suggests this approach but does not require it. Tend to produce errors or no results in these situations.
Performs indexing and caching on-demand which reduces set-up time and only performs calculations that are required. Perform indexing in the data loading phase and initialisation phase, which can lead to lengthy delays (even on relatively small datasets).
Uses JTS which does not truncate coordinate precision and applies spatial equality. May truncate coordinate precision and apply lexical equality, which is quicker but does not comply with the GeoSPARQL standard.