ECS 266: Spatial Databases

ECS 266
Spatial Databases
Effective Term
2008 Winter Quarter
Learning Activities
Lecture: 3 hours
Discussion: 1 hour
Concepts, models, and architectures for spatial databases, spatial access methods, query processing, spatio-temporal data management, moving objects, spatial data mining.
ECS 165A

Summary of Course Content

1. Introduction to Spatial Databases Management Systems (SDBMS)
a. Requirements, Principles, and Concepts for SDBMS
b. Spatial Databases and Geographic Information Systems
c. SDBMS and GIS Applications

2. Models for Spatial Data
a. Geographic Space Modeling
b. Representation Models
c. Geometry of Collection of Objects
d. Vector Data
e. Raster Data
f. Spatial Abstract Data Types

3. Computational Geometry
a. Algorithmic Strategies
b. Sweep-line Methods
c. Polygon Partitioning

4. Spatial Access Methods (SAM)
a. Issues in SAM Design
b. Space Driven Structures versus Data Driven Structures
c. The Grid File
d. Quadtree and Variants
e. R-Tree and Variants
f. k-d Tree and Variants
g. Other common and useful SAM
h. Cost Models

5. Query Processing
a. Algebras and Query Languages for Spatial Data
b. Spatial Join Queries
c. Nearest Neighbor Queries
d. Queries over Raster Data (Map Algebra)
e. Cost Models

6. Spatio-Temporal Databases
a. Introduction to Temporal Databases
b. Specialized Index Structures
c. Query Processing

7. Spatial DBMS and GIS
a. Oracle Spatial
c. ArcInfo and ArcView
d. PostGIS

8. Advanced Topics
a. Spatial Data Mining and Clustering
b. Streaming (remotely-sensed) Data
c. Moving Object Databases


There will be at least two projects. One project will be done in the form of teams. In these projects, students have to design, implement, and evaluate a spatial database application including spatial access structures either from scratch or using a freely available GIS, such as GRASS or PostGIS. Project results will be presented in class.

Illustrative Reading

There is no required textbook, but the following textbooks are recommended:

  • Philippe Rigaux, Michel Scholl, Agnes Voisard: Spatial Databases with Applications to GIS, Morgan Kaufmann, 2002
  • Shashi Shekhar, Sanjay Chawla: Spatial Databases, Prentice Hall, 2002
  • Hanan Samet: Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures, The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics, 2006

Furthermore, a collection of papers addressing specific topics will be distributed in class.

Potential Course Overlap

This course has a very minor overlap with ECS 226, in which some multidimensional access structures are covered.

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