Aviation Data Mapping

In ICARUS, data mapping refers to the process of identifying the equivalent concept in the ICARUS common aviation data model for each field contained in the data that are checked in. Practically, based on the sample a data provider has uploaded in the ICARUS platform, the semi-automatic mapping (i.e. proposal of the mapping of each column to the ICARUS aviation data model) is calculated based on fuzzy matching techniques. The proposed mapping has a certain confidence level depending on whether there was an exact match with a concept in the ICARUS data model. The data provider needs to manually confirm the proposed data mapping (or add it, if it was not possible to be automatically calculated) and provide the supplementary information anticipated in the data model. What are the challenges in this mapping process?

Understand the data and the aviation data model

In order to check in your data to the ICARUS Platform, you need to have an inherent understanding of the business meaning hindered behind each field. Knowing the semantics and data types of your data (either directly or through collaboration with IT people or operations experts) is a precondition for properly mapping them to the ICARUS aviation data model and for avoiding errors (that will inevitably follow you afterwards in the ICARUS Platform and will even force you to check in your data again).

Mapping requires human intervention

No matter how sophisticated schema matching techniques are used, the mapping prediction provided by the ICARUS platform will never be 100% accurate. You will always need to validate the recommended mappings or identify the proper mappings. Depending on the number of fields a dataset contains, this may require a lot of time and manual effort to be invested in the mapping step so it is important that the ICARUS platform provides a user interface that is as user-friendly as possible.

Dynamically evolve the aviation data model

The ICARUS aviation data model should not be viewed as a static data model that has been created on the basis of the knowledge derived from standards, such as ACRIS (ACI Airport Community Recommended Information Services), A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making Manual), AIXM (Aeronautical Information Exchange Model), SSIM (Standard Schedules Information Manual), and the demonstrators’ data samples, and remains unchanged. Since its initial release, the data model has expanded from approximately 200 concepts to over 700 concepts to address the needs expressed by the ICARUS consortium.

In summary, the mapping process is instrumental to:

  • Ensure that datasets that come from diverse stakeholders in the aviation data value chain are semantically enriched, harmonized and put to the appropriate context prior to their storage (in an encrypted or unencrypted format).
  • Facilitate dataset integration within ICARUS and between ICARUS datasets & external datasets.
  • Make the data easier discoverable and searchable prior to their acquisition through the ICARUS data brokerage and sharing mechanisms.
  • Search for data that span over multiple datasets through the advanced query functionalities offered in the ICARUS Marketplace.

More details about the mapping process can be found in previous blog posts on the methodology and the aviation data model.

Blog post authored by Suite5.

Featured Image Photo by Pietro Jeng on Unsplash