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Map Calculus in GIS: a proposal and demonstration

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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).
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Document Type: Research Article

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

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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