The map data input and output problem for geographic information systems is rapidly diminishing with the increasing availability of mass digitizing, direct spatial data capture and graphics hardware based on raster technology. Although a large number of efficient raster-based algorithms exist for performing a wide variety of common tasks on these data, there are a number of procedures which are more efficiently performed in vector mode or for which raster mode equivalents of current vector-based techniques have not yet been developed. This paper presents a hybrid spatial data structure, named the ?vaster' structure, which can utilize the advantages of both raster and vector structures while potentially eliminating, or greatly reducing, the need for raster-to-vector and vector-to-raster conversion. Other advantages of the vaster structure are also discussed.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
A hybrid structure for the storage and manipulation of very large spatial data sets
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center