Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of GIS

pp 993-1002

R-Trees – A Dynamic Index Structure for Spatial Searching

  • Marios HadjieleftheriouAffiliated withAT&T Labs, Inc.
  • , Yannis ManolopoulosAffiliated withDepartment of Informatics, Aristotle University
  • , Yannis TheodoridisAffiliated withDepartment of Informatics, University of Piraeus
  • , Vassilis J. TsotrasAffiliated withUniversity of California-Riverside




One of the most influential access methods in the area of Spatial Data Management is the R-tree structure proposed by Guttman in 1984 [8]. It is a hierarchical data structure based on B+-trees, used for the dynamic organization of a set of d-dimensional geometric objects. The original R-tree was designed for efficiently retrieving geometric objects contained within a given query range. Every object in the R-tree is represented by a minimum bounding d-dimensional rectangle (for simplicity, MBRs in the sequel). Data objects are grouped into larger MBRs forming the leaf nodes of the tree. Leaf nodes are grouped into larger internal nodes. The process continues recursively until the last group of nodes that form the root of the tree. The root represents an MBR that encloses all objects and nodes indexed by the tree, and each node corresponds to the MBR that bounds its childr ...

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