Building a Robust Relational Implementation of Topology

  • Erik Hoel
  • Sudhakar Menon
  • Scott Morehouse
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2750)


Topologically structured data models often form the core of many users’ spatial databases. Topological structuring is primarily used to ensure data integrity; it describes how spatial objects share geometry. Supporting topology within the context of a relational database imposes additional requirements – the complex topological model must retain integrity across transactional boundaries. This can be a problematic requirement given the complexities associated with implementing safe referential integrity structures in relational databases (e.g., bulk data loading into a topologically structured model) [19, 5]. Common implementation techniques such as allowing dangling pointers (i.e., null foreign keys) complicates the issues for client applications that consume these models. In this paper, we revisit the problem of building a robust and scalable relational implementation of a topologically structured data model. We propose a different approach to representing such models that avoids many of the traditional relational database problems associated with maintaining complex semantic models.


Relational Database Topology Model Geographic Information System Topological Relationship Feature Geometry 
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 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Hoel
    • 1
  • Sudhakar Menon
    • 1
  • Scott Morehouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Systems Research InstituteRedlandsUSA

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