[Requests] Comments on: OGC Symbology Conceptual Model: Core part

Antony Cooper ACooper at csir.co.za
Mon Oct 22 10:56:36 EDT 2018

Dear OGC

I think that proposed draft for the Symbology Conceptual Core Model (SCCM) is not sufficiently abstract, being primarily about just the design and rendering a single symbol and not about the context for symbols or the relationships between symbols or the meaning of the symbols the the symbol components.

One symbol can consist of one or more other symbols with or without other graphical elements, as each component symbol contributes meaning to the combined or compound symbol.  There can also be topological relationships between symbols (eg: showing how a bridge carries one feature over another), and a topological structure to a compound symbol, so that the graphic components retain their relationships with one another even if the symbol is distorted.

For example, referring to my attached figure, on the left are 3 component symbols, a circle, and arrow and a cross (each of which represents a relevant characteristic or attribute of a feature).  They are then assembled into a symbol for the feature, which is then modified for portrayal based on the attributes of the feature: in this case, the colour and line style of the circle are changed, the arrow is rotated and the size of the cross is increased.  This shows that while a symbol can be modified as a whole (as is normally the case), the individual components of a symbol can also be modified independently of one another.  Finally, on the right, the symbol is exchanged or transferred between systems without being modified.

Underlying all this is semiotics, which provides meaning to each symbol, symbol component, portrayal modification, etc.  However, the semiotics is filtered through language, culture, age, region and other perspectives, which affect the meaning or interpretation of the symbol.

Clearly, this is a simplification and there are probably important aspects that I have omitted from the figure.

I hope that this input is useful.

Thank you

Antony K Cooper, PhD
Spatial Planning and Systems
CSIR Built Environment
PO Box 395
South Africa
Cellular: +27 82 497 3812
Email: acooper at csir.co.za

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