Reasoning about spatial structure in landscapes with Geographic Information Systems

  • Claude W. Saunders
Spatial Reasoning
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 716)


Geographic Information Systems offer a new means to store, transform, and present cartographic information. Persons involved in landscape ecology, planning, and management use these systems to transform and examine data pertaining to a given geographical region. Unfortunately, there is often little correspondence between the language of landscape analysis and the operations provided by most Geographic Information Systems. This paper describes a language based on the landscape element abstractions commonly used by landscape architects and ecologists. With this language, a task specific landscape definition may be expressed in terms of matrix, patch, and corridor elements. The landscape definition is then used to guide the interpretation of cartographic data. This paper presents an extension to an existing Geographic Information System which provides the ability to locate instances of specified spatial structures in cartographic data. This extension represents an initial step towards being able to reason directly about the spatial relations amongst elements of interest in a landscape. The definition of a landscape analysis task is given in the landscape language and solutions generated by our system are presented.


Geographic Information System Analysis Task Landscape Structure Data Layer Landscape Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude W. Saunders
    • 1
  1. 1.Argonne National LaboratoryArgonne

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