Full text: The 3rd ISPRS Workshop on Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS & the 10th Annual Conference of CPGIS on Geoinformatics

ISPRS, Vol.34, Part 2W2, “Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS", Bangkok, May 23-25, 2001 
ISPRS, Vol.34, 
JunCHEN 1 , Zhilin LI 2 , Jie JIANG 1 
1 National Geomatics Center of China 
No. 1 Baishengcun, Zizhuyuan, 
Beijing, 100044, P. R. China 
(chenjun, jjie)@nsdi.gov.cn 
2 Dept, of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics 
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 
Kowloon, Hong Kong , China 
Lszlli® polyu.edu.hk 
KEYWORDS: Dynamic, multi-dimensional, GIS, scale, spatio-temporal model 
There is a demand from many applications to extend GIS from traditional systems for processing 2-dimensional static data to systems 
to process true 3-D data, even with dynamic nature and/or with change in temporal dimension. This leads the evolution of GIS into 
dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS. This paper reviews tries to define the context of dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS, outline the 
development of dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS and to identify a list of challenging issues for future research. 
Since the publication of the first report on Canadian 
geographical information system (GIS) over 30 years ago 
(Tomlinson, 1967), GIS has evolved from simple automated 
mapping systems to today’s complicated toolboxes. At the 
early stage, planar graph-based models were used for spatial 
data modelling in GIS, because such GIS is a consequence of 
automating existing manual map-based operations. In such 
systems, emphasis is given on cartographic aspects. Three- 
dimensional spatial entities were mapped into two dimensional 
points, lines and polygon objects with associated attributes 
describing their properties and stored as a series of thematic 
overlays registered to a common spatial frame of reference 
(Worboy, 1992). A series of snapshots are generally used to 
record states of spatial objects at certain time points. It can 
provide a time-series view of the study area but obscures the 
individual history of spatial entities (Langran, 1992). In fact, 
most of current GIS still have difficulty in handling of geospatial 
data of 3-dimensional space and the 3-dimensional geospatial 
phenomena with dynamic nature, although rather complicated. 
On the other hand, there is an increasing demand to build 
functions to handle dynamic and multi-dimensional gepspatial 
data, from a number of applications, such as urban planning 
and mining. As a consequence, GIS has been evolving from a 
system for processing 2-D and/or 2.5D data to a system for 
processing 3-D and even 4-D data (with changes in temporal 
dimension). Also there is an increasing demand to model 
geospatial phenomena with dynamic nature (such as marine 
environment and coastal lines). Thus GIS has also been 
evolving from a system for processing static data into a system 
capable of processing dynamic data. In order to distinguish it 
from traditional systems, GIS with such kind of capacity is 
referred to as “dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS” in this 
context and it is the topic of this paper. 
This paper aims to provide an overview of this topic. This 
introduction is followed by a discussion on the context of 
dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS (Section 2). The 
development of dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS is briefly 
outlined in Section 3. The issues on and research agenda of 
this topic are outlined in Section 4. Finally, some concluding 
remarks are made in Section 5. 
As there are various interpretations of the terms “dynamic” and 
“multi-dimensional”, it seems pertinent to have a clear 
definition of the context of these terms here before further 
discussions could be conducted. 
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