David Caduff

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

Silvia Nittel

Third Committee Member

Werner Kuhn


Recent achievements in the field of mobile computing and wireless communication promise data retrieval anywhere and anytime. This development provided the basis to expand GIs technology to handheld devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs). Although traditional GIs technology is well suited for desktop workstations, it needs to be adapted in order to satisfy the requirements of users using handheld computing devices. This adaptation is necessary because the usability of traditional GISs depends on characteristics of desktop computers, such as their relatively large user interfaces (e.g., displays, keyboards, pointing devices), considerable computing resources (i.e., CPU, memory, storage, operating systems), and high bandwidth network connectivity. Small devices possess few of these characteristics, hence, requiring new and efficient methods for interaction with spatial databases. We propose a concept that supports sketch-based querying in mobile GIs environments. This concept combines newest techniques for spatial querying and mobile technologies. Such a combination is beneficial for users because it allows them to formulate queries by drawing the desired configuration with a pen on the touch-sensitive PDA screen, and consequently avoids typing complex statements in some SQL-like query language. Client-server architectures in mobile environments are characterized by low and fluctuating bandwidth, and by frequent disconnections. We discuss client-server strategies in mobile environments, suggest an adaptive client-server architecture for geomobile querying, and analyze the performance. It is shown that adaptation to the mobile environment is necessary in order to ensure efficiency of geo-mobile queries.