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.
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General Field model;
Geographic information system;
Order of General Field;
Document Type: Research Article
Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4060, USA
School of Engineering, University of California at Merced, Merced, CA 95344, USA
Publication date: 01 January 2008
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