Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Topological Data Models

  • Erik HoelEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_431


Topology; Topological data structure; Topological fabric


Topology is defined as a mathematical model used to define the location of and relationships between geographical phenomena. These topological relationships are independent of distance or direction. Topology may depict connectivity of one entity to another; for example, an edge will have topological relationships to it’s from and to nodes.

Topology is useful with spatial data because many spatial modeling or geoprocessing operations do not require geometric coordinate values. For example, to find the shortest path between two nodes requires a list of which edges connect to each other and the cost of traversing along each edge. Geometric coordinates are only necessary to draw the shortest path after it is calculated.

More generally, topology, in the context of spatial data, can have several other meanings:
  • A mathematical model of features in space (e.g., nodes, edges, and faces).

  • A physical data model for...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Systems Research InstituteRedlandsUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ralf Hartmut Güting
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer ScienceUniversity of HagenHagenGermany