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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Query Languages for Geographic Information Systems (90-12)


The three papers contained in this report show three different perspectives of interactive query languages for geographic information and analysis, an emphasis of the NCGIA’s Research Initiative No. 2 on "Languages of Spatial Relations." They are published as a technical report to make them accessible to readers as a whole so that they can make comparisons between the different approaches.

The first paper, "Concepts of Spatial Objects in GIS User Interfaces and Query Languages," was presented at GIS/LIS ’89 in Orlando. It investigates the requirements for a GIS query language from a user’s perspective. The second paper, "Spatial SQL: A Query and Representation Language," shows how such a GIS query language can be designed as an extension of the well-known relational query language SQL. Finally, the third paper, entitled "LOBSTER: Combining AI and Database Techniques for GIS," is a reprint of an article published in Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, Vol. 56, No. 6, June 1990, pp. 919-926. It reports on the implementation of and experience with a prototype of a spatial query language based upon the Prolog programming language.

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