Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu


  • Jordan T. HastingsEmail author
  • Linda L. Hill
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_181


Geospatial referencing; Spatial referencing


Georeferencing is the name given to the process of geospatially referencing data and information objects - datasets, text documents, maps, photographs and imagery, etc. - to their proper locations on Earth. The vast majority of such objects derive from measurements and observations phenomena that are inherently georeferenceable, because humans are largely confined in their activities to the near-surface of the Earth and “Almost everything that happens, happens somewhere” [3].

Georeferencing can be accomplished in two main ways [2]: formally, by assigning geospatial coordinates directly to data and information objects; and informally, by relating such objects to one or more pre-existing ones for which georeferences have already been established. In everyday life, the latter approach predominates, using the mechanism of place. A geographic place is a real-world location, perhaps vague, with a recognizable name and type, and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Clarke KC. Getting started with GIS. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall; 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hill LL. Georeferencing: the geographic associations of information. Cambridge: MIT Press; 2006.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Longley PA, Goodchild MF, Maguire DJ, Rhind DW. Geographical information systems and science. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley; 2005.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Geography Markup Language (version 3.1.1).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sobel D. Longitude: the true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time. New York: Penguin; 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of California-Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amr El Abbadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUC Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA