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The 3rd ISPRS Workshop on Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS & the 10th Annual Conference of CPGIS on Geoinformatics
Chen, Jun

ISPRS, Vol.34, Part 2W2, “Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS”, Bangkok, May 23-25, 2001
we go beyond the third dimension, we often
think of time, an important attribute of a
dynamic system. However, a multi
dimensional GIS does not necessarily contain
time as one of its coordinates. In fact, a multi
attribute database in the traditional sense is
multidimensional, if we consider each attribute
as a co-ordinate in some kind of space. ”
Therefore, the context of "dynamic and multi-dimensional' 1 can
be considered as follows:
Dynamic and
multi - dimensional
- Processes
H (height)
Multi — dimensional
Figure 1 Context of "Dynamic and Multi-dimensional GIS
It is noticeable that time is involved in both dynamic and multi
dimensional component. This is because there are two major
metaphors of time, i.e. as arrow representing progress and as
cycle representing constancy and continuity (Hazelton, 1992).
In the former, "we consider it to be comparable to a ‘line’ that
continues infinitely in both directions, whereas with cyclic time
we perceive time to revolve in a repeating sequence, such as
days, months and years" (Zhang and Hunter, 2000).
Since the late 1980s in GIS community, attention has been
paid to dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS (e.g. Armstrong
1988, Langran and Chrisman 1988, Raper 1989). Some very
important literature has been published in this area in early
1990s. Published books on this topic include ‘Time in
Geographic Information Systems” (Langran 1992), ‘Three-
dimensional Modelling with Geoscientific Information Systems”
(Turner 1992), and ‘Theories and Methods for Spatio-temporal
Reasoning in Geographic Space” (Frank et al. 1992).
In mid 1990s, more researchers advocated research in this
direction (e.g. Raper 1995). A number of important academic
activities have been organised since mid 1990s. Examples
are: 3-D spatial data modeling (Fritsch, 1996), spatio-
temporal data model (Claramount, 1995; Peuquet, et al,
1996), dynamic handling of spatial data (Gold, 1997; Chen et
al, 1997), integrating and inter-operation of heterogeneous
data (Dieberger, 1995; Craglia, 1996), multi-dimension
indexing and querying (Lee, 1997; Zaslavsky, 1997),
visualisation of multi-dimension data (Shepherd, 1995; Lin et
al, 1996), interpolation and analysis of multi-dimension data
(Gold, 1994; Shibasaki et al, 1996), large volume of data
organization and database updating (Trinder, 1999), fuzzy
objects (Cheng and Molenaar, 1998, 1999a, 1999b), spatial-
temporal database (Abraham and Roddick, 1999).
In 1994, an international conference on “Spatial Date Modeling
and Query Languages for 2-D and 3-D Applications” (Molenaar
and de Hoop 1994) was held in the Netherlands. In the same
year, a specialist meeting of Research Initiative 10 was
organised in Lake Arrowhead, California, in 1994 by NCGIA
(Egenhofer and Golledge, 1994). In 1995, an international
symposium called ‘Towards Three Dimensional, Temporal and
Dynamic Spatial Data Modeling and Analysis” (Chen et. al.
1995) was held at the Wuhan Technical University of
Surveying and Mapping, China.
The 1980s and early 1990s are the pregnancy periods of
dynamic and multi-dimensional GIS. The real birth of dynamic
and multi-dimensional GIS was given in 1997, which is a year
of special meanings in GIS history. It is the year of the 30 th
anniversary of Tomlinson’s report Tomlinson (1967) and is the
year the 10 th anniversary of International Journal of
Geographical Information Systems and the year when this
journal was renamed as International Journal of Geographical
Information Science. It is also the year we see the publication
of two new GIS journals -- Geolnformatica and Transaction in
In August 1997, the first International Workshop on Dynamic
and Multi-dimensional GIS was organised by Y. C. Lee and
Zhi-lin Li (Lee and Li, 1997) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic
University. This work was initiated by Prof. Jun Chen, Prof.
Y.C. Lee, Dr. Zhi-lin Li Prof. M. Molenaar and Prof. Anthony
Yeh and was a joint workshop of a number of ISPRS Working