Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Informatik

Technical Report 93-16

A Unified Approach to Geographic Data Modeling
November 1993
Agnes Voisard (
R. David
Institut für Informatik
Freie Universitaet Berlin
Takustr. 9
D-14195 Berlin (Germany)
spatial database systems, data models, spatial abstract data types
In this paper we study the power of defining and manipulating geographic information (maps) using (i) a rigorous definition of spatial abstract data types, and (ii) general database features (data models and algebraic operations). Our work is based on a complex object model, whose set and tuple constructors make it efficient for defining not only collections of geographic objects but also any relationships between them. Note that the goal is not to define another map model, but to show that efficiency in both representation and manipulation can be achieved if certain conditions are respected. We present three classes of operators that are necessary for an efficient handling of geographic information in a DBMS context. We then study the impact of this classification on the extensibility of geographic DBMS (at a ``logical'' level). This issue is discussed in theory and practice, taking as underlying database models both an extended relational and an object-oriented o ne.

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