Issues in Spatial Databases and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Presenter: Hanan Samet (University of Maryland)
Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 11:30
Location: Maxwell Room 5th Floor DET – Corso Castelfidardo, 42/a

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An introduction is given to the spatial database issues involved in the design of geographic information systems (GIS) from the perspective of a computer scientist.  Some of the topics to be discussed include the nature of a GIS and the functionalities that are desired in such systems.  Representation issues will also be reviewed.  The emphasis will be on indexing methods as well as the integration of spatial and nonspatial data.  Demos will be shown of the SAND Spatial Browser ( as well as the VASCO JAVA applet ( which illustrate these ideas.

Hanan Samet ( is a Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland where he researches the use of hierarchical data structures for GIS and spatial and image databases as well as location-based visualization of spatially-referenced textual data such as documents, news, and tweets. He is the author of the recent book “Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures,” published by Morgan-Kaufmann ( and the first two texts in the field “Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures” and “Applications of Spatial Data Structures: Computer Graphics, Image Processing and GIS”.  He has a Ph.D in Computer Science as well as an MS in Operations Research and ComputerScience all from Stanford University and a BS in Engineering from UCLA.  He is the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on patial Algorithms and Systems (TSAS), the founding chair of ACM SIGSPATIAL, a recipient of the 2009 UCGIS ((University Consortium of GIS) Research Award, the 2011 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, the IEEE Computer Society’s 2014 Wallace McDowell Award, and a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, AAAS, IAPR (International Association for Pattern Recognition), and UCGIS, and an ACM Distinguished Speaker. He received best paper awards in the 2008 ACM SIGMOD and SIGSPATIAL Conferences, the 2012 SIGSPATIAL MobiGIS Workshop, and the 2007 Computer & Graphics Journal best paper. The 2008 ACM SIGSPATIAL best paper award winner also received the 2018 ACM SIGSPATIAL 10 Year Impact Award. He was elected to the ACM Council as the Capitol Region Representative for the term 1989-1991, and is an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2008-2015, and 2018-present).

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