SaIL: A Spatial Index Library for Efficient Application Integration
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With the proliferation of spatial and spatio-temporal data that are produced everyday by a wide range of applications, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have to cope with millions of objects with diverse spatial characteristics. Clearly, under these circumstances, substantial performance speed up can be achieved with the use of spatial, spatio-temporal and other multi-dimensional indexing techniques. Due to the increasing research effort on developing new indexing methods, the number of available alternatives is becoming overwhelming, making the task of selecting the most appropriate method for indexing the data according to application needs rather challenging. Therefore, developing a library that can combine a variety of indexing techniques under a common application programming interface can prove to be a valuable tool. In this paper we present SaIL (SpAtial Index Library), an extensible framework that enables easy integration of spatial and spatio-temporal index structures into existing applications. We focus on design issues and elaborate on techniques for making the framework generic enough, so that it can support user defined data types, customizable spatial queries, and a broad range of spatial (and spatio-temporal) index structures, in a way that does not compromise functionality, extensibility and, primarily, ease of use. SaIL is publicly available and has already been successfully utilized for research and commercial applications.
KeywordsGeographic Information System Geographic Information System Index Structure Application Programming Interface Indexing Method
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