Measuring the spatial relationship information of multi-Layered vector data

Pengfei Chen, Wenzhong Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Geospatial data is a carrier of information that represents the geography of the real world. Measuring the information contents of geospatial data is always a hot topic in spatial-information science. As the main type of geospatial data, spatial vector data models provide an effective framework for encoding spatial relationships and manipulating spatial data. In particular, the spatial relationship information of vector data is a complicated problem but meaningful to help human beings evaluate the complexity of spatial data and thus guide further analysis. However, existing measures of spatial information usually focus on the ‘disjointed’ relationship in one layer and cannot cover the various spatial relationships within the multi-layered structure of vector data. In this study, a new method is proposed to measure the spatial relationship information of multi-layered vector data. The proposed method focuses on spatial distance and topological relationships and provides quantitative measurements by extending the basic thought of Shannon’s entropy. The influence of any vector feature is modeled by introducing the concept of the energy field, and the energy distribution of one layer is described by an energy map and a weight map. An operational process is also proposed to measure the overall information content. Two experiments are conducted to validate the proposed method. In the experiment with real-life data, the proposed method shows the efficiency of the quantification of spatial relationship information under a multi-layered structure. In another experiment with simulated data, the characteristics and advantages of our method are demonstrated through a comparison with classical measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Entropy
  • Multi-layered vector data
  • Quantitative measurement
  • Spatial information
  • Spatial relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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