Skip to main content

Map Calculus in GIS: a proposal and demonstration

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)


This paper provides a new representation for fields (continuous surfaces) in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), based on the notion of spatial functions and their combinations. Following Tomlin's (1990) Map Algebra, the term 'Map Calculus' is used for this new representation. In Map Calculus, GIS layers are stored as functions, and new layers can be created by combinations of other functions. This paper explains the principles of Map Calculus and demonstrates the creation of function-based layers and their supporting management mechanism. The proposal is based on Church's (1941) Lambda Calculus and elements of functional computer languages (such as Lisp or Scheme).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geomatic Engineering University College London Gower Street London WC1E 6BT UK, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2004

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more