Title page for ETD etd-09272009-152926

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Coetzee, Serena Martha
Email scoetzee@cs.up.ac.za
URN etd-09272009-152926
Document Title An analysis of a data grid approach for spatial data infrastructures
Degree PhD
Department Computer Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof J Bishop Supervisor
  • data grid
  • SDI
  • spatial data infrastructure
  • data sharing
  • data exchange
  • grid computing
  • spatial data
  • geographic information
  • GIS
  • address standards
  • standards
  • address data
  • addresses
Date 2009-09-02
Availability unrestricted
The concept of grid computing has permeated all areas of distributed computing, changing the way in which distributed systems are designed, developed and implemented. At the same time ‘geobrowsers’, such as Google Earth, NASA World Wind and Virtual Earth, along with in-vehicle navigation, handheld GPS devices and maps on mobile phones, have made interactive maps and geographic information an everyday experience. Behind these maps lies a wealth of spatial data that is collated from a vast number of different sources. A spatial data infrastructure (SDI) aims to make spatial data from multiple sources available to as wide an audience as possible. Current research indicates that, due to a number of reasons, data sharing in these SDIs is still not common.

This dissertation presents an analysis of the data grid approach for SDIs. Starting off, two imaginary scenarios spell out for the first time how data grids can be applied to enable the sharing of address data in an SDI. The work in this dissertation spans two disciplines: Computer Science (CS) and Geographic Information Science (GISc). A study of related work reveals that the data grid approach in SDIs is both a novel application for data grids (CS), as well as a novel technology in SDI environments (GISc), and this dissertation advances mutual understanding between the two disciplines. The novel evaluation framework for national address databases in an SDI is used to evaluate existing information federation models against the data grid approach. This evaluation, as well as an analysis of address data in an SDI, confirms that there are similarities between the data grid approach and the requirement for consolidated address data in an SDI. The evaluation further shows that where a large number of organizations are involved, such as for a national address database, and where there is a lack of a single organization tasked with the management of a national address database, the data grid is an attractive alternative to other models. The Compartimos (Spanish for ‘we share’) reference model was developed to identify the components with their capabilities and relationships that are required to grid-enable address data sharing in an SDI.

The definition of an address in the broader sense (i.e. not only for postal delivery), the notion of an address as a reference and the definition of an addressing system and its comparison to a spatial reference system contribute towards the understanding of what an address is. A novel address data model shows that it is possible to design a data model for sharing and exchange of address data, despite diverse addressing systems and without impacting on, or interfering with, local laws for address allocation. The analysis in this dissertation confirms the need for standardization of domain specific geographic information, such as address data, and their associated services in order to integrate data from distributed heterogeneous sources. In conclusion, results are presented and recommendations for future work, drawn from the experience on the work in this dissertation, are made.

© 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Coetzee, SM 2009, An analysis of a data grid approach for spatial data infrastructuresi, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09272009-152926/ >


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