Object-oriented data modelling for spatial databases

Michael F. Worboys, Hilary M. Hearnshaw, David J. Maguire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Data modelling is a critical stage of database design. Recent research has focused upon object-oriented data models, which appear more appropriate for certain applications than either the traditional relational model or the entity- relationship approach. The object-oriented approach has proved to be especially fruitful in application areas, such as the design of geographical information systems which have a richly structured knowledge domain and are associated with multimedia databases. This article discusses the key concepts in object-oriented modelling and demonstrates the applicability of an object-oriented design methodology to the design of geographical information systems. In order to show more clearly how this methodology may be applied, the paper considers the specific object-oriented data model IFO. Standard cartographic primitives are represented using IFO, which are then used in the modelling of some standard administrative units in the United Kingdom. The paper concludes by discussing current research issues and directions in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-383
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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