Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 93–103 | Cite as

Global Grids from Recursive Diamond Subdivisions of the Surface of an Octahedron or Icosahedron

  • Denis White


In recent years a number of methods have been developed for subdividing the surface of the earth to meet the needs of applications in dynamic modeling, survey sampling, and information storage and display. One set of methods uses the surfaces of Platonic solids, or regular polyhedra, as approximations to the surface of the earth. Diamond partitions are similar to recursive subdivisions of the triangular faces of either the octahedron or icosahedron. This method views the surface as either four (octahedron) or ten (icosahedron) tessellated diamonds, where each diamond is composed of two adjacent triangular faces of the figure. The method allows for a recursive partition on each diamond, creating nested sub-dimaonds, that is implementable as a quadtree, including the provision for a Peano or Morton type coding system for addressing the hierarchical pattern of diamonds and their neighborhoods, and for linearizing storage. Furthermore, diamond partitions, in an aperture-4 hierarchy, provide direct access through the addressing system to the aperture-4 hierarchy of hexagons developed on the figure. Diamond partitions provide a nested hierarchy of grid cells for applications that require nesting and diamond cells have radial symmetry for those that require this property. Finally, diamond partitions can be cross-referenced with hierarchical triangle partitions used in other methods.

global grids geometric models sampling grids hierarchical spatial sampling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis White
    • 1
  1. 1.National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology DivisionU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCorvallisUSA

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