Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Cardinal Direction Relationships

  • Spiros SkiadopoulosEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_45


Directional relationships; Orientation relationships


Cardinal direction relationships are qualitative spatial relations that describe how an object is placed relative to other objects utilizing a coordinate system. This knowledge is expressed using symbolic (qualitative) and not numerical (quantitative) methods. For instance, north and southeast are cardinal direction relationships. Such relationships are used to describe and constrain the relative positions of objects and can be used to pose queries such as “Find all objects a, b, and c such that a is north of b and b is southeast of c.”

Historical Background

Qualitative spatial relationships (QSR) approach common sense knowledge and reasoning about space using symbolic rather than numerical methods [5]. QSR has found applications in many diverse scientific areas such as geographic information systems, artificial intelligence, databases, and multimedia. Most researchers in QSR have concentrated on the three main...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PeloponneseTripoliGreece