Colloquium Speaker

Speaker: Hanan Samet
University of Maryland
Topic:Spatial Databases And Geographic Information Systems
Date:Thursday, October 10, 2002
Time:11:00 AM
Place:Gould-Simpson, Room 701

Refreshments will be served in the 7th-floor lobby of Gould-Simpson at 10:45 AM


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 found at which illustrate these ideas.

Hanan Samet received the B.S. degree in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the M.S. Degree in operations research and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and IAPR (International Association for Pattern Recognition).

In 1975 he joined the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is now a Professor. He is a member of the Computer Vision Laboratory of the Center for Automation Research and also has an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. At the Computer Vision Laboratory he leads a number of research projects on the use of hierarchical data structures for geographic information systems. His research group has developed the QUILT system which is a GIS based on hierarchical spatial data structures such as quadtrees and octrees, the SAND system which integrates spatial and non-spatial data, the SAND Browser which enables browsing through a spatial database using a graphical user interface, the VASCO spatial indexing applet (found at, and a symbolic image database system.

His research interests are data structures, computer graphics, geographic information systems, computer vision, robotics, programming languages, artificial intelligence, and database management systems. He is the author of the books Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures, and Applications of Spatial Data Structures: Computer Graphics, Image Processing, and GIS, both published by Addison-Wesley, 1990.