Modeling and Representing Real-World Spatio-Temporal Data in Databases (Vision Paper)

Authors José Moreira, José Duarte, Paulo Dias

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Author Details

José Moreira
  • Department of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, University of Aveiro,Portugal
  • Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro, University of Aveiro, Portugal
José Duarte
  • Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro, University of Aveiro, Portugal
Paulo Dias
  • Department of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, University of Aveiro,Portugal
  • Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro, University of Aveiro, Portugal


This work is partially funded by National Funds through the FCT (Foundation for Science and Technology) in the context of the projects UID/CEC/00127/2013 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-032636.

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José Moreira, José Duarte, and Paulo Dias. Modeling and Representing Real-World Spatio-Temporal Data in Databases (Vision Paper). In 14th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 142, pp. 6:1-6:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Research in general-purpose spatio-temporal databases has focused mainly on the development of data models and query languages. However, since spatio-temporal data are captured as snapshots, an important research question is how to compute and represent the spatial evolution of the data between observations in databases. Current methods impose constraints to ensure data integrity, but, in some cases, these constraints do not allow the methods to obtain a natural representation of the evolution of spatio-temporal phenomena over time. This paper discusses a different approach where morphing techniques are used to represent the evolution of spatio-temporal data in databases. First, the methods proposed in the spatio-temporal databases literature are presented and their main limitations are discussed with the help of illustrative examples. Then, the paper discusses the use of morphing techniques to handle spatio-temporal data, and the requirements and the challenges that must be investigated to allow the use of these techniques in databases. Finally, a set of examples is presented to compare the approaches investigated in this work. The need for benchmarking methodologies for spatio-temporal databases is also highlighted.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Spatial-temporal systems
  • Information systems → Data model extensions
  • Computing methodologies → Shape modeling
  • spatio-temporal databases
  • region interpolation problem
  • moving regions
  • morphing techniques


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