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Towards a General Field model and its order in GIS

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Geospatial data modelling is dominated by the distinction between continuous-field and discrete-object conceptualizations. However, the boundary between them is not always clear, and the field view is more fundamental in some respects than the object view. By viewing a set of objects as an object field and unifying it with conventional field models, a new concept, the General Field (G-Field) model, is proposed. In this paper, the properties of G-Field models, including domain, range, and categorization, are discussed. As a summary, a descriptive framework for G-Field models is proposed. Then, some common geospatial operations in geographic information systems are reconsidered from the G-Field perspective. The geospatial operations are classified into order-increasing operations and non-order-increasing operations, depending on changes induced in the G-Field's order. Generally, the order can be viewed as an indicator of the level of information extraction of geospatial data. It is thus possible to integrate the concept of order with a geo-workflow management system to support geographic semantics.

Keywords: General Field model; Geographic information system; Non-order-increasing operation; Order of General Field; Order-increasing operation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China 2: National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4060, USA 3: School of Engineering, University of California at Merced, Merced, CA 95344, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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