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Representing and reasoning about changing spatial extensions of geographic features

Calazans Campelo, Claudio Elizio (2013) Representing and reasoning about changing spatial extensions of geographic features. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis presents a novel approach to representing and reasoning about geographic phenomena which can be interpreted based on changes affecting spatial extensions of geographic features. Of particular interest in this work are geographic features whose extensions can be described as 2-dimensional regions corresponding to portions of the earth surface under a specified projection, such as deserts, forests and oceans. The work resulted in the development of a logical framework for representing geographic events and processes. In developing such a framework, issues have been addressed regarding the relationship between these concepts and also between them and geographic features. Other crucial issues are how to define the relation between event and process types and their particular instances, and how to handle different kinds of vagueness to associate specific spatial and temporal boundaries with those instances. Of particular interest in this work is the development of a method of explicitly linking the formalism to spatio-temporal data. This requires work at multiple levels, both in consideration of how the data can be represented and in regards of how primitive elements of the logical framework can be defined. Although data can be regarded as a faithful reproduction of physical elements of the world, some conceptual elements are not always explicitly represented within data. For that reason, a logic-based approach to representing spatio-temporal geographic data was also developed and is presented in this thesis. Representing the data in a logical fashion allows implicit data to be derived by means of logical inferences, and provides a natural way of explicitly connecting the data to a semantic-based formalism. Derived data may include spatial extensions of geographic features at different times, based on existing data describing, for example, portions of the earth’s surface associated with different observable properties. Furthermore, a system has been implemented to evaluate the applicability of the proposed theory. The system takes time-stamped topographic data as an input and allows logical queries to be formulated about the data, returning textual and graphical information on geographic events, processes, and features which participate in them.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-646-2
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605278
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 May 2014 10:51
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2014 10:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5843

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