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Unique identification of vector geographic objects by location and geometry

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This article presents a method to uniquely identify vector geographic objects based on their spatial position and geometric characteristics. The method comprises three steps. First, a grid-based spatial indexing (Quadtree grid) is automatically generated according to location, shape and size of the geographic objects. This allows for a simple Quadtree grid generation (the level, row and column number) for every geographic object by three grid parameters (origin, start and end size). Second, a set of algorithms have been developed for extracting geometric characteristics (e.g. representative points, outline and orientation) of geographic objects corresponding to the grid. Third, a strategy for the unique identification of geographic objects is proposed in order to integrate the Quadtree grid and the geometric information. The application of the proposed method is presented in a case study conducted in Jiangsu Province, China. The experiment indicates that this method is more efficient than existing methods at positioning, searching and querying. The unique identifier is also shown to be useful as a technical method to support geographic information systems analytical applications, such as the matching, conflating and sharing of spatial objects.
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Keywords: Quadtree grid index; geometric characteristics; unique identification; vector geographic objects

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Education Ministry Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, 210046, China

Publication date: December 2, 2014

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