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Use of a Three-Domain Repesentation to Enhance GIS Support for Complex Spatiotemporal Queries

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As the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) proceeds to advanced scientific and societal applications, there is an emerging need to enhance GIS support for complex spatiotemporal queries. Dynamic GIS representations (as opposed to static, map-based representations) that can integrate proper data elements in the production of geographic information are required. This paper demonstrates the use of a three-domain representation that facilitates compilation of higher-level information (such as frequency and rate) from preliminary data records (such as time and location) stored in a database. The three-domain representation is compared with snapshot, space-time composite, and spatiotemporal object models using a sample data set for forest transitions. While the three-domain representation is a normalization of these data models, it offers a conceptual alternative that enables GIS to represent spatiotemporal behaviors of geographic entities, in addition to entities as well as histories at locations as emphasized in most GIS data models. The comparison shows that the three-domain representation has combined the strengths of the space-time composite and spatiotemporal object models. Moreover, it enables aggregations of analytical use along with dynamic mappings between geographic concepts and locations, a distinct capability that takes GIS query processing beyond the level of information support offered by static map-based data models.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK USA

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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