5D Data Modelling: Full Integration of 2D/3D Space, Time and Scale Dimensions

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Abstract

This paper proposes an approach for data modelling in five dimensions. Apart from three dimensions for geometrical representation and a fourth dimension for time, we identify scale as fifth dimensional characteristic. Considering scale as an extra dimension of geographic information, fully integrated with the other dimensions, is new. Through a formal definition of geographic data in a conceptual 5D continuum, the data can be handled by one integrated approach assuring consistency across scale and time dimensions. Because the approach is new and challenging, we choose to step-wise studying several combinations of the five dimensions, ultimately resulting in the optimal 5D model. We also propose to apply mathematical theories on multidimensional modelling to well established principles of multidimensional modelling in the geo-information domain. The result is a conceptual full partition of the 3Dspace+time+scale space (i.e. no overlaps, no gaps) realised in a 5D data model implemented in a Database Management System.