The representation and management of evolving features in geospatial databases

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Geographic features change over time, this change being the result of some kind of event or occurrence. It has been a research challenge to represent this data in a manner that reflects human perception. Most database systems used in geographic information systems (GIS) are relational, and change is either captured by exhaustively storing all versions of data, or updates replace previous versions. This stems from the inherent diffculty of modelling geographic objects in relational tables. This diffculty is compounded when the necessary time dimension is introduced to model how those objects evolve. There is little doubt that the object-oriented (OO) paradigm holds signi cant advantages over the relational model when it comes to modelling real-world entities and spatial data, and it is argued that this contention is particularly true when it comes to spatio-temporal data. This thesis describes an object-oriented approach to the design of a conceptual model for representing spatio-temporal geographic data, called the Feature Evolution Model (FEM), based on states and events. The model was used to implement a spatio-temporal database management system in Oracle Spatial, and an interface prototype is described that was used to evaluate the system by enabling querying and visualisation.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish


    • Computer software
    • Programming
    • Temporal GIS
    • Object-relational

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