DEFINING SIMPLE nD OPERATIONS BASED ON PRISMATIC nD OBJECTS
Keywords: nD GIS, prismatic polytopes, extrusion
Abstract. An alternative to the traditional approaches to model separately 2D/3D space, time, scale and other parametrisable characteristics in GIS lies in the higher-dimensional modelling of geographic information, in which a chosen set of non-spatial characteristics, e.g. time and scale, are modelled as extra geometric dimensions perpendicular to the spatial ones, thus creating a higher-dimensional model. While higher-dimensional models are undoubtedly powerful, they are also hard to create and manipulate due to our lack of an intuitive understanding in dimensions higher than three. As a solution to this problem, this paper proposes a methodology that makes nD object generation easier by splitting the creation and manipulation process into three steps: (i) constructing simple nD objects based on nD prismatic polytopes – analogous to prisms in 3D –, (ii) defining simple modification operations at the vertex level, and (iii) simple postprocessing to fix errors introduced in the model. As a use case, we show how two sets of operations can be defined and implemented in a dimension-independent manner using this methodology: the most common transformations (i.e. translation, scaling and rotation) and the collapse of objects. The nD objects generated in this manner can then be used as a basis for an nD GIS.