A data model and query language for spatio-temporal decision support

Gómez, Leticia Irene
Kuijpers, Bart
Vaisman, Alejandro Ariel
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"In recent years, applications aimed at exploring and analyzing spatial data have emerged, powered by the increasing need of software that integrates Geographic Information Systems(GIS) and On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP). These applications have been called SOLAP (Spatial OLAP). In previous work, the authors have introduced Piet, a system based on a formal data model that integrates in a single framework GIS, OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing), and Moving Object data. Real-world problems are inherently spatio-temporal. Thus, in this paper we present a data model that extends Piet, allowing tracking the history of spatial data in the GIS layers. We present a formal study of the two typical ways of intro ducing time into Piet: timestamping the thematic layers in the GIS, and timestamping the spatial objects in each layer. We denote these strategies snapshot-based and timestamp-based representations, respectively, following well-known terminology borrowed from temporal databases. We present and discuss the formal model for both alternatives. Based on the timestamp-based representation, we introduce a formal First-Order spatio-temporal query language, which we denote Lt, able to express spatio-temporal queries over GIS, OLAP, and trajectory data. Finally, we discuss implementation issues, the update operators that must be supported by the model, and sketch a temporal extension to Piet-QL, the SQL-like query language that supports Piet."