Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Spatial Information Science and Engineering


Max J. Egenhofer

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Hornsby

Third Committee Member

Michael F. Worboys


Current research in the domain of geographic information science considers possibilities of including another dimension, time, which is generally missing to this point. Users interested in changes have few functions available to compare datasets of spatial configurations at different points in time. Such a comparison of spatial configurations requires large amounts of manual labor. An automatic derivation of changes would decrease amounts of manual labor. The thesis introduces a set of methods that allows for an automatic derivation of changes. These methods analyze identity and topological states of objects in snapshots and derive types of change for the specific configuration of data. The set of change types that can be computed by the methods presented includes continuous changes such as growing, shrinking, and moving of objects. For these continuous changes identity remains unchanged, while topological relations might be altered over time. Also discrete changes such as merging and splitting where both identity and topology are affected can be derived. Evaluation of the methods using a prototype application with simple examples suggests that the methods compute uniquely and correctly the type of change that applied in spatial scenarios captured in two snapshots.