Spatial Databases is the first unified, in-depth treatment of special techniques for dealing with spatial data, particularly in the field of geographic information systems (GIS). This book surveys various techniques, such as spatial data models, algorithms, and indexing methods, developed to address specific features of spatial data that are not adequately handled by mainstream DBMS technology.

The book also reviews commercial solutions to geographic data handling: ArcInfo, ArcView, and Smallworld GISs; and two extensions to the relational model, PostgreSQL and Oracle Spatial. The authors examine these underlying GIS technologies, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and consider specific uses for which each product is best suited.

Key Features

* Examines the strengths of various query languages and approaches to query processing. * Explains the use of computational geometry in spatial databases GISs, providing necessary background and an in-depth look at key algorithms. * Covers spatial access methods, including the R-tree and several space-driven structures, and is filled with dozens of helpful illustrations.


Computer science and GIS professionals.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD by Victor Vianu, University of California, San Diego LIST OF FIGURES PREFACE 1 AN INTRODUCTION TO SPATIAL DATABASES 1.1 Database Management Systems (DBMSs) 1.1.1 Basic Description and Main Features 1.1.2 Modeling Applications 1.1.3 Physical Data Management 1.2 Vocabulary in Geospatial Database Applications 1.2.1 Theme 1.2.2 Geographic Objects 1.3 Geospatial Data Manipulation 1.3.1 Simple Operations on Themes 1.3.2 Further Theme Operations 1.3.3 Other Typical GIS Operations 1.4 DBMS Support for Geospatial Data 1.4.1 Use of a Relational DBMS 1.4.2 Loosely Coupled Approach 1.4.3 Integrated Approach Based on DBMS Extensibility 1.5 Requirements for a Spatial DBMS 1.6 Bibliographic Notes 2 REPRESENTATION OF SPATIAL OBJECTS 2.1 Geographic Space Modeling 2.1.1 Entity-Based Models 2.1.2 Field-Based Models 2.2 Representation Modes 2.2.1 Tessellation 2.2.2 Vector Mode 2.2.3 Half-Plane Representation 2.3 Representing the Geometry of a Collection of Objects 2.3.1 Spaghetti Model


No. of pages:
© 2002
Morgan Kaufmann
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editors

Philippe Rigaux

Philippe Rigaux is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers), where his work focuses on spatial applications for database systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers), Paris

Michel Scholl

Michel Scholl is a Professor of Computer Science at CNAM and a Senior Researcher at INRIA (French Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique). His recent work has focused on spatial databases and digital libraries.

Affiliations and Expertise

CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers) amd INRIA (French Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique), Paris

Agnès Voisard

Agnès Voisard is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Free University of Berlin and a System Architect at Kivera, Inc. Her research interests include data models for geographic and environmental information systems, interoperability in information systems, and navigation systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

Fraunhofer ISST (Institut für Software- und Systemtechnik)and Free University Berlin, Germany


@qu:"Spatial Databases covers all of the major themes of the field -- representation, query languages, computational geometry, spatial indexing -- using geographic information systems as the principal application domain and motivation. It is an excellent introduction for computer science professionals interested in exploring GIS, and an excellent resource for GIS professionals interested in learning more about the computer science foundations of the field." @source:—Michael F. Goodchild, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and University of California, Santa Barbara @qu:"Spatial Databases is a well-written, comprehensive treatment of a multi-disciplinary field, spanning computational geometry, database modeling, object-orientation, and query processing. The book presents both advanced research and commercial systems in a clear and accessible manner. This book is essential for understanding the current state of the art. Well done!" @source:—Professor Dennis Shasha, New York University