Sorting Spatial Data by Spatial Occupancy

TitleSorting Spatial Data by Spatial Occupancy
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSamet H
JournalGeoSpatial Visual Analytics
Pagination31 - 43
Date Published2009///

The increasing popularity of web-based mapping services such as Microsoft Virtual Earth and Google Maps/Earth has led to a dramatic increase in awareness of the importance of location as a component of data for the purposes of further processing as a means of enhancing the value of the nonspatial data and of visualization. Both of these purposes inevitably involve searching. The efficiency of searching is dependent on the extent to which the underlying data is sorted. The sorting is encapsulated by the data structure known as an index that is used to represent the spatial data thereby making it more accessible. The traditional role of the indexes is to sort the data, which means that they order the data. However, since generally no ordering exists in dimensions greater than 1 without a transformation of the data to one dimension, the role of the sort process is one of differentiating between the data and what is usually done is to sort the spatial objects with respect to the space that they occupy. The resulting ordering should be implicit rather than explicit so that the data need not be resorted (i.e., the index need not be rebuilt) when the queries change. The indexes are said to order the space and the characteristics of such indexes are explored further.