Automating the administration boundary design process using Hierarchical Spatial Reasoning (HSR) theory and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/6813
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
AffiliationUniversidad de Alcalá. Departamento de Geografía
Fullerton K., European Commission, Joint Research Centre (ed), 6th EC-GI & GIS Workshop, Lyon, June 28-30th 2000
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)
Throughout history, humankind has segmented and delineated the geographic environment in various ways to support administrative, political and economic activities. To date, the majority of spatial boundaries have been constructed in an uncoordinated manner with individual organisations generating individual boundaries to meet individual needs. This practice has resulted in boundary layers that even the most sophisticated Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is unable to cross analyse accurately. Consequently, geospatial information is fragmented over a series of boundary units. The objective of this paper is to present the findings of a research project aimed to investigate new methods for the organisation of spatial data by applying the principles of Hierarchical Spatial Reasoning (HSR), where HSR can be used as the theoretical framework for investigating the hierarchical structuring of space. In the first section, the paper outlines the problem of data exchange and data integration encountered worldwide when utilising current administrative boundaries and the data attached to them. It also reviews the most commonly adopted methods to overcome the problem and the issues inherent to these methods. Secondly, the paper introduces the concept and theory of HSR and reviews common practices in boundary design. The paper summarises constraints and issues arising from the use of GIS jointly with HSR in polygon-base design. Thirdly, an HSR-based prototype developed for delineating boundaries within the GIS environment is detailed. This prototype has been constructed utilising the state of Victoria, Australia as a working laboratory for development and analysis. The prototype has been implemented in ArcView (ESRI) using cadastre (land parcels), road network and major natural barriers as the core information and Avenue as the programming language. In the prototype, the agencies considered were ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and Australia Post due to their widely acceptance and use amongst institutions and individuals dealing with geospatial data and analyses.