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Using Topological Relationships to Inform a Data Integration Process

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When spatial datasets are overlaid, corresponding features do not always coincide. This may be a result of the datasets having differing quality characteristics, being captured at different scales or perhaps being in different projections or datums. Data integration methods have been developed to bring such datasets into alignment. Although these methods attempt to maintain topological relationships within each dataset, spatial relationships between features in different datasets are generally not considered. The preservation of inter-dataset topology is a research area of considerable current interest. This research addresses the preservation of topology within a data integration process. It describes the functional models established to represent a number of spatial relationships as observation equations. These are used to provide additional information concerning the relative positions of features. Since many topological relationships are best modelled as inequalities, an algorithm is developed to accommodate such relationships. The method, based on least squares with inequalities (LSI), is tested on simulated and real datasets. Results are presented to illustrate the optimal positioning solutions determined using all of the available information. In addition, updated quality parameters are provided at the level of the individual coordinate, enabling communication of local variation in the resultant quality of the integrated datasets.
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Keywords: GIS; least squares with inequalities; spatial data maintenance; topology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geomatics University of Melbourne

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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