Multi-agent systems for web-based map information retrieval. Many types of information are geographically referenced and interactive maps provide a natural user interface to such data. However, map presentation in geographical information systems (GISs) and on the Internet is closely related to traditional cartography and provides a very limited interactive experience. We present the MAPBOT, a web-based map information retrieval system to search geographical information using software agent techniques. Each kind of map feature such as a building or a road is treated as an agent called a Maplet. Each Maplet has a user interface level to assist the user to find information of interest and a graphic display level that controls the presence and the appearance of the feature on the map. Semantic relationships of Maplets are defined in an Ontology Repository (OR) and used to control their retrieval. To allow system developers to manipulate the OR, an Ontology Editor is implemented with a graphical user interface. Visualisation on the client is based on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). The paper describes the current state of development of the prototype and presents, and evaluates experimentally, an agent-oriented graphical conflict resolution procedure, which demonstrates the potential for conflict resolution via low-level agent communication, as opposed to global control.

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  1. Li, Maozhen; Zhou, Sheng; Jones, Christopher B.: Multi-agent systems for web-based map information retrieval (2002)