Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been experiencing a steady and unprecedented growth in terms of general interest, theory development, and new applications in the last decade or so. GIS is an inter-disciplinary field that brings together many diverse areas such as computer science, geography, cartography, engineering, and urban planning.
Database Issues in Geographic Information Systems approaches several important topics in GIS from a database perspective. Database management has a central role to play in most computer-based information systems, and is expected to have an equally important role to play in managing information in GIS as well. Existing database technology, however, focuses on the alphanumeric data that are required in business applications. GIS, like many other application areas, requires the ability to handle spatial as well as alphanumeric data. This requires new innovations in data management, which is the central theme of this monograph. The monograph begins with an overview of different application areas and their data and functional requirements. Next it addresses the following topics in the context of GIS: representation and manipulation of spatial data, data modeling, indexing, and query processing. Future research directions are outlined in each of the above topics. The last chapter discusses issues that are emerging as important areas of technological innovations in GIS.
Database Issues in Geographic Information Systems is suitable as a secondary text for a graduate level course on Geographic Information Systems, Database Systems or Cartography, and as a reference for researchers and practitioners in industry.