Object-oriented cartographic modeling techniques in physical planning

Wen-Chieh Wang, University of Pennsylvania


Cartographic modeling is a methodology that transforms geographically referenced data into information. It manifests itself in the form of a high-level procedural programming language. As such, cartographic modeling suffers from many of the common deficiencies associated with the procedural approach to software development. These deficiencies hinder the utility of current procedural cartographic modeling techniques in dealing with complex applications. Productivity of cartographic modeling is thus diminished as the complexity of its applications increases. The object model has been recognized as a promising alternative to the procedural approach to software development. This study explores the question of whether or not a version of the cartographic modeling techniques based on the object model can enhance its efficiency and effectiveness in complex applications. More specifically, this study employs an object-oriented approach in designing a new foundation for cartographic modeling with an emphasis on applications in city and regional planning. It then implements the design in various formats and evaluates the design by deploying the new foundation in several physical planning applications. It finds that, with the ability to design tailor-made objects, the object-oriented approach indeed remedies many deficiencies of the procedural approach. The major contribution of devising this new foundation is introducing an organizing mechanism called CompositeMap that sorts elements of a cartographic model into a tree-like structure according to a hierarchy of meanings. Thus, a cartographic modeling procedure can be abstractly represented as a hierarchy and referred to as a ready-made component for convenient reuse.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Computer science|Geography

Recommended Citation

Wang, Wen-Chieh, "Object-oriented cartographic modeling techniques in physical planning" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9913536.