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GIS Raster Data Models

OE-701, Fundamentals
of GIS and GPS

GIS Basic Data Models

What are the two types of Data Models?


(e.g., models for graphically representing geographic space)

Vector and Raster


Note: A database structure need seldom be made to suit
a data model. But a well prepared data model is vital
for a successful GIS analysis.

Raster Data Models (Structure)

One model for representing geographic space


Spatial locations are implicit
Relationships between entities/objects are
explicit
Points associated with single grid cell
Lines are a connected sequence of cells
Areas are a sequence of interconnected cells

Vector vs. Raster Images

Source: Delany p 18

Raster Graphic Representation

The Raster structure illustrates points, lines, and areas utilizing the confines of cells
for representing geographic areas. Raster models dont provide explicit locational
information.
Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2 nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 99. fig. 4.10.

Raster Data: Description


consists

of a matrix of homogeneous grid cells


(usually square in shape)

each

raster map layer has two origins:

the cartesian coordinate origin at the bottom left,


referencing a cell's position to a real-world location.
the row and column index origin at the top left,
referencing a cell location within the grid matrix

individual

grid cells in raster images are


referred to as "picture elements" or "pixels"

Raster Data Sources


Satellite

Landsat data; SPOT data

Existing

imagery
cell-based data

DEM; Arc/Info Grid; GRASS; IDRISI

Scanned

imagery

aerial photographs; hard copy maps

Vector--to--raster

conversion

Raster Data: Resolution


the

area within a grid cell (i.e. cell size) defines


the spatial resolution of the raster
the smaller the cell, the greater the resolution
and accuracy (more detailed feature
representation)
there is a trade-off between resolution and cost
of storage and processing

Resolution Examples
Aerial

Images:

Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQs)


1 m, 2.5 m, 10 m & 30 m resolutions

Satellite

Images:

MODIS: 250 m to 1 km per pixel

Others:

DEMs: 10m & 30m


Scanned maps, vector conversions varies greatly

Digital Orthophoto: Example

Image Source:Korte GIS Book. p 75

Spatial Resolution:
Selected Satellite Systems

Image Source:Korte GIS Book. p 77

Extent/Scale/Resolution:
Selected Satellite Systems

Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)

DEMs

Image Source: Clarke, Keith C. (2001). 3 rd Ed. Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems. p 94. Fig. 3

Conversion: Vector to Raster

Conversion of vector data to raster data: (a) Coded polygons; (b) a grid with the
appropriate cell size overlaid on top of the polygons (dots represent the center of
each grid cell; (c) each cell is assigned the attribute code of the polygon to which
it belongs.

Conversion: Raster to Vector

Conversion of raster data to vector: (a) each raster cell is assigned an


attribute value; (b) boundaries are set up between different attribute classes;
(c) a polygon is created by storing x and y coordinates for the points adjacent
to the boundaries.
Source: Bernhardsen, Tor. (1999). 2nd Ed. Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction. p 76.
fig.4.30.

Conversion Errors

Image Source: Clarke, Keith C. (2001). 3 rd Ed. Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems. p 96.

Raster Data: Values


each

grid cell stores an associated value that


defines which class, group, category, or
member the cell belongs
the value is either an integer, floating point, or
No Data value. Cells with No Data value are
excluded during calculations and analysis

Raster Data:
Cell measurement values
1.
2.

3.

4.

nominal: identifiers with no relation to a fixed point or a


linear scale. e.g., zip codes; soil types
ordinal: lists of discrete classes with inherent order but
without magnitude or relative proportions. e.g. primary,
secondary, college, graduate
interval: classes not only with natural sequence, but
also with meanings attached to the distance between
sequential values. e.g., time of day, the Fahrenheit
temperature scale, PH value
ratio: variables with the same characteristics as interval
variables, but in addition, they have a natural zero or
starting point. e.g., age, distance, income

Raster Cells: Coding

A line number and column number define the cells position in the raster data. The
data are then stored in a table giving the number and attribute value of each cell.
Source: Bernhardsen, Tor. (1999). 2nd Ed. Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction. p 70. fig. 4.19.

Spectral Resolution:
Selected Satellite Systems

Image Source:Korte GIS Book. p 78

Real World > Coded Grid Cells

Raster data can be visualized as a grid lying over the real world terrain. Each grid cell has
a code stored in the database describing the terrain within that particular cell.
Source: Bernhardsen, Tor. (1999). 2nd Ed. Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction. p 68. fig. 4.18

One Object:
Multiple Attribute Layers

Only one attribute value may be assigned to each cell. Objects with several
attributes are represented with a number of raster layers, one for each attribute.
Source: Bernhardsen, Tor. (1999). 2nd Ed. Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction. p 70. fig. 4.20.

Raster Data Model Method:


GRID/LUNR/MAGI (early 80s method)

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2 nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 104.fig. 4.12 (a)..

Raster Data Model Method:


IMGRID GIS (also early method)

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2 nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 104.fig. 4.12 (b).

Raster Data Model Method:


Map Analysis Package (MAP)

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 104.fig. 4.12 (c).

Raster Data Input:


Presence/Absence Method

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 145. fig. 5.8 (a).

Raster Data Input:


Centroid-of-Cell Method

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 145. fig. 5.8 (b).

Raster Data Input:


Dominant Type Method

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2 nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 145. fig. 5.8 (c).

Raster Data Input:


Percent Occurrence Method

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 145. fig. 5.8 (d).

Raster Data:
Methods of Compacting
Four common methods of storing data
Run-length codes
Raster chain codes
Block codes
Quadtrees

Compacting Data Model:


Run-length Encoding

Compacting Data Models:


Raster Chain & Block Codes

Compacting Data Model:


Quadtrees

Source: Demers, Michael. N. (2000). 2nd Ed. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. p. 107. fig. 4.13 (d).

GIS Graphic Models:


Characteristic Differences

Source: Bernhardsen, Tor. (1999). 2nd Ed. Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction. p 7___. fig. 4.32.

Raster Data Structures/Models


Advantages

Simple data structures


Location-specific manipulation of attribute data is
easy
Many kinds of spatial analysis and filtering may be
used
Mathematical modeling is easy because all spatial
entities have a simple, regular shape
The technology is cheap
Many forms of data are available

Raster Data Structures/Models

Disadvantages

Large data volumes


Using large grid cells to reduce data volumes reduces
spatial resolution; loss of information & inability to
recognize phenomenologically defined structures
Crude raster maps are inelegant though graphic elegance
is becoming less of a problem
Coordinate transformations are difficult & time consuming
unless special algorithms & hardware are used and even
then may result in loss of information or distortion of grid
cell shape.