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IST Directory Frederico Fonseca
Frederico Fonseca

Frederico Fonseca

  • Director, Center for Innovative Online Learning
  • Affiliate Assistant Professor of Geography, The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
330D Information Sciences and Technology Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 867-4025


  1. Ph.D., Spatial Information Science and Engineering University of Maine, 2001
  2. M.S., Public Administration and Computer Science Government School of the Joao Pinheiro Foundation, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1997
  3. B.S., Mechanical Engineering Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil 1978


Fonseca earned his Ph.D. at The University of Maine where his thesis covered the area of GIS interoperability. His research provides a theoretical basis for semantic interoperability, which is a necessary foundation for a working, interoperating environment. With his focus on system design, Fonseca demonstrates how complicated processes can be integrated to the benefit of users. His newly developed concept of ontology-based GIS is highly interdisciplinary as it brings together various research methods from artificial intelligence, software engineering, and GIS. Over the last two years, Fonseca published two refereed journal articles and five papers in fully refereed conference proceedings. Fonseca is the recipient of the 1999 ESRI/IGIF Scholarship and a NASA/EPSCoR fellowship to extend his work on ontology-based GIS to the classification of image-based spatial information. Fonseca is a reviewer for flagship journals in GIS. Dr. Fonseca has demonstrated excellence as a software engineer. He developed a software system written in Java for spatial data access on the Internet.

Research and Teaching

Fonseca's research interests are in the areas of ontologies, environment, and integration. My basic work is on ontology engineering, which is the construction of ontologies, of how people understand and represent their knowledge about a subject. My preferred subject for ontologies is the environment, .i.e, ontologies that describe how the environment works or better how we think the environment works. Once we have different representations of the understanding of different people I am interested in how to integrate these different views. The integration of different ontologies will lead to a better understanding among different communities. The result of the integration can be used in different enterprises such as creating better public policies and enhance knowledge sharing among different nations of the planet.The main objectives of my current research are: (1) Performing an empirical study of how different communities conceptualize and categorize scientific information about the environment; (2) Creating multiple ontologies about the environment; (3) Designing computational models to specify, represent, visualize, access, compare and share multiple ontologies of scientific information.


Fonseca, F., Egenhofer, M., Davis, C., and Câmara, G. (2001) Semantic Granularity in Ontology-Driven Geographic Information Systems. AMAI Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence - Special Issue on Spatial and Temporal Granularity: to appear.


Fonseca, M. Egenhofer, C. Davis and K. Borges(2000). Ontologies and Knowledge Sharing in Urban GIS.CEUS- Computer, Environment and Urban Systems 24(3): 232-251.


F. Fonseca and M. Egenhofer,(1999) Sistemas de Informação Geográficos Baseados em Ontologias in InformáticaPública 1 (2): 47-65. The GeoSpatial Semantic Web Space and Time in Eco-Ontologies

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Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology
332 Information Sciences and Technology Building
University Park, PA 16802 - 6823
Phone: 814-865-3528
Fax: 814-865-5604
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