1987, Kavouras, M., and Masry, S.E., "An Information System for the Geosciences: Design Considerations" Print


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Kavouras, M., and Masry, S.E., "An Information System for the Geosciences: Design Considerations", Proceedings of 8th International Symposium on Computer?Assisted Cartography (AUTO?CARTO 8), Baltimore, Maryland,  pp.336-345, 1987.




The geosciences, and particularly those involved in resource evaluation, are confronted with data handling problems which involve highly complex three-dimensional objects. This complexity demands advanced object representations and data organizations which the conventional GIS is not designed to deal with. The ability to efficiently store, analyze, and update complex geo-information, together with the ability to plan resource explorations, has been the subject of two years of research here at the University of New Brunswick. This paper describes an integrated spatial information system which has been produced as a result of this research.


The system employs various data representations in order to characterize point, line, surface, and solid type geo-objects. These objects can be highly irregular, fragmented, and non-homogeneous. Both geometric shape and the spatial distribution of attributes are known to the system through an extended octree indexing scheme. This organization of the information permits efficient spatial and attribute queries, including boolean operations and queries which involve object topology. Software was written to utilize these abilities within an interactive graphics session.


Date sets were provided by local mining firms in order to assess the suitability and efficiency of the extended octree structures for geo-applications, and the practical utility of the system. Additional applications software was included to perform geostatistical analyses, and operations involved more specifically in the design of a mine. Details and experiences from the practical assessments are also reported in the paper.


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