Invited Presentation:

What's Special about Spatial?

David J. Abel
CSIRO Division of Information Technology GPO Box 664 Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Spatial database has been a vigorous niche area within database systems. It has typically been claimed to be so different that specialised platforms are needed. This paper analyses the special requirements in terms of data representation, query processing, access methods and systems architectures and concludes that convergence of spatial database and mainstream database is now possible with the emergence of extensible relational and object-oriented database systems. This suggests that there are particular opportunities for research and development on embedding spatial database systems within distributed information systems. A Decision Support System HYDRA is discussed as a case study of the issues in coupling Spatial Information Systems with other systems.
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