Spatial Databases and Geographic Information Systems

Friday, May 29, 2009 - 4:54pm

Monday, June 8, 2009
Computer Science Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall Rm. 1132

HOST: Divy Agrawal

SPEAKER: Hanan Samet
Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland

Title: Spatial Databases and Geographic Information Systems


An introduction is given to the spatial database issues involved in the
design of geographic information systems (GIS) from the perspective of a
computer scientist. Some of the topics to be discussed include

the nature of a GIS and the functionalities that are desired in such
systems. Representation issues will also be reviewed. The emphasis
will be on indexing methods as well as the integration of spatial and

nonspatial data. Demos will be shown of the SAND Spatial Browser
( as well as the VASCO JAVA
applet (

which illustrate these ideas.


Hanan Samet received the B.S. degree in engineering from the University
of California, Los Angeles, and the M.S. Degree in operations research
and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science

from Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He is a Fellow of the IEEE,
ACM, and IAPR (International Association for Pattern Recognition), and
was also elected to the ACM Council in 1989-1991 where he

served as the Capital Region Representative. He is the recpient of the
2009 UCGIS Research Award. He is currently a Science Foundation of
Ireland (SFI) Walton Fellow at the Centre for

Geocomputation at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth (NUIM).

In 1975 he joined the Computer Science Department at the University of
Maryland, College Park, where he is now a Professor. He is a member of
the Computer Vision Laboratory of the

Center for Automation Research and also has an appointment in the
University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. At the
Computer Vision Laboratory he leads a number of research

projects on the use of hierarchical data structures for geographic
information systems. His research group has developed the QUILT system
which is a GIS basedon hierarchical spatial data structures such

as quadtrees and octrees, the SAND system which integrates spatial and
non-spatial data, the SAND Browser
( which enables

browsing through a spatial database using a graphical user interface,
the VASCO spatial indexing applet (found at, and a symbolic image

database system.

His research interests are data structures, computer graphics,
geographic information systems, computer vision, robotics, and database
management systems. He is the author of the recent book

titled “Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures”
( published
by Morgan-Kaufmann, an imprint of Elsevier, in 2006, and of

the first two books on spatial data structures titled “Design and
Analysis of Spatial Data Structures”, and “Applications of Spatial Data
Structures: Computer Graphics, Image Processing, and GIS”, both

published by Addison-Wesley in 1990. He was the co-general chair of the
15th ACM International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information
Systems (ACMGIS’07) and the 16th ACM

SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic
Information Systems (ACMGIS’08). He is the founding chair of ACM
SIGSPATIAL, and received

best paper awards in the 2008 SIGMOD Conference, the 2008 SIGSPATIAL
ACMGIS’08 Conference, and the 2007 Computers & Graphics Journal. His
paper at the 2009 IEEE International

Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) was selected as one of the best
papers for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data