2nd International Conference on GeoComputation

Rule-Based Modelling In GIS

David Pullar

Geographical Sciences and Planning
The University of Queensland. Qld. 4072
+61 7 33656522

Presented at the second annual conference of GeoComputation 97 & SIRC 97, University of Otago, New Zealand, 26-29 August 1997


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide functionality for visualising, managing and manipulating spatially referenced data. For straight forward spatial queries users perform these func-tions through a graphical user interface, for more advanced spatial models the user is often required to write a program as a formulation of the problem. The objective of this paper is to find out what type of programming language is suitable for users who do not have extensive programming experience, and yet provides powerful modelling capability. The paper reviews different types of programming paradigms and the abstrac-tions they support. It argues that a combination of decision rules and object-oriented paradigms offer a clear and effective language interface to GIS. The rules are structured and pre-sented in a tabular form to simplify their specification. The ap-proach emphasises a style of programming that is attuned to spatial data models and programs are easy to comprehend.