Modeling geometric rules in object based models: an XML / GML approach

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Most object-based approaches to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have concentrated on the representation of geometric properties of objects in terms of fixed geometry. In our road traffic marking application domain we have a requirement to represent the static locations of the road markings but also enforce the associated regulations, which are typically geometric in nature. For example a give way line of a pedestrian crossing in the UK must be within 1100-3000 mm of the edge of the crossing pattern. In previous studies of the application of spatial rules (often called 'business logic') in GIS emphasis has been placed on the representation of topological constraints and data integrity checks. There is very little GIS literature that describes models for geometric rules, although there are some examples in the Computer Aided Design (CAD) literature. This paper introduces some of the ideas from so called variational CAD models to the GIS application domain, and extends these using a Geography Markup Language (GML) based representation. In our application we have an additional requirement; the geometric rules are often changed and vary from country to country so should be represented in a flexible manner. In this paper we describe an elegant solution to the representation of geometric rules, such as requiring lines to be offset from other objects. The method uses a feature-property model embraced in GML 3.1 and extends the possible relationships in feature collections to permit the application of parameterized geometric constraints to sub features. We show the parametric rule model we have developed and discuss the advantage of using simple parametric expressions in the rule base. We discuss the possibilities and limitations of our approach and relate our data model to GML 3.1. © 2006 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


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Publication date26 Jul 2006
Publication titleProgress in Spatial Data Handling: 12th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)3-540-35588-X, 978-3-540-35588-5
Original languageEnglish
Event12th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling, SDH 2006 - Vienna, United Kingdom


Conference12th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling, SDH 2006
CountryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic note

12th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling, 10-12 July 2006, Vien (AT). The original publication is available at


  • geographical Information Systems, GIS, road traffic marking application domain, spatial rules, business logic, topological constraints, data integrity checks, geometric rules, Computer Aided Design, CAD, variational CAD models, GIS application domain, Geography Markup Language, GML, parameterized geometric constraints, sub features, parametric rule model, parametric expressions


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