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A simplicial complex-based DBMS approach to 3D topographic data modelling

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This paper introduces a new compact topological 3D data structure. The proposed method models the real world as a complete decomposition of space and this subdivision is represented by a constrained tetrahedral network (TEN). Operators and definitions from the mathematical field of simplicial homology are used to define and handle this TEN structure. Only tetrahedrons need to be stored explicitly in a (single column) database table, while all simplexes of lower dimensions, constraints and topological relationships can be derived in views. As a result the data structure is relatively compact and easy to update, while it still offers favourable characteristics from a computational point of view as well as presence of topological relationships.
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Keywords: 3D GIS; 3D topography, Poincare simplicial homology; Simplicial complexes; Spatial DBMS; Topology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section GIS Technology, OTB, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BX Delft, the Netherlands

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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