A Dynamic Architecture for Distributing Geographic Information Services on the Internet

ABSTRACT

Tsou, Ming-Hsiang (Ph.D., Geography) 2001.  University of Colorado at Boulder

Thesis directed by Professor Barbara P. Buttenfield

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The need for global access to and decentralized management of geographic information is pushing the GIS community to deploy a distributed GIService architecture on the Internet. Different from other types of information services, distributing geographic information on the Internet requires unique software frameworks and dynamic communication approaches.  However, current GIS research mainly focuses on ad hoc technique-centered solutions without considering the uniqueness of geospatial information and the integration of heterogeneous GIServices.  This research presents a dynamic architecture, where the architecture of GIServices is dynamically constructed by temporarily connecting or migrating data objects and GIS components across the networks.  The detailed design of the GIServices architecture is illustrated by the Unified Modeling Language and emphasizes a distributed computing perspective.  The dynamic architecture of distributed GIServices is deployed by defining appropriate relationships for distributed GIS components and geospatial data objects, establishing an operational metadata scheme for geospatial data objects and GIS components, and proposing an agent-based mechanism for the integration of distributed GIServices.  The results of this research will help the GIS community adopt a long-term, technology-independent strategy in developing distributed GIServices.  It will clarify the operational relationships between client, server, geodata objects and GIS operations, and will justify the roles of metadata and software agents in distributed GIServices.  By integrating GIS components and data objects dynamically across networks, computing resources may be utilized more efficiently on the Internet.