Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have an important role in a wide range of application domains, both for the management of spatial data and as a decision support tool. Until recently, priority has been given to the spatial issues, leaving the temporal aspects outside GIS. To manage spatiotemporal information in a convenient and efficient manner within these systems, common approaches are either to ignore time and deal with the most recent state of facts, or to manage the temporal aspect of data at the application level. Such approaches compromise the efficient management of spatio-temporal data at the DBMS level and overweight the application level. The context of this project is the management of complex urban data where both the geographic reference and the evolution over time are essential. The project takes advantage of the team experience on previous scientific projects related to GIS and urban visualization as well as developing projects for the local administration and on recent results.

Models of urban information must represent elements such as routes, buildings, bridges, transportation paths and facilities, cultural sites, city furniture, trees, gardens and parks. These models have a strong geographic structure, which has been acknowledged and is currently incorporated in many applications. It is also obvious that the evolution of this kind of information over time is crucial in urban management. The state-of-the-art in information systems for this area does not offer temporal support.

The project aims at the development of a system for the representation, querying and visualization of urban information. The focus is on the management of time-evolving information, taking into account the past, current and, eventually, future states of urban data, for record, data mining or future planning purposes.

The project will develop an extension of a database system for management of time evolving urban information (STDBMS prototype). The compliance with current standards in urban data is expected with the specification of a temporal extension of CityGML (see section State of The Art), an information model for the representation of urban objects, incorporated into the STDBMS prototype. To test the efficiency of the proposed solutions, the project will build an urban test scenario for the evaluation o the STDBMS prototype, focusing on the spatio-temporal features. Visualization of spatio-temporal such a demanding area as urban data is a promising development for other application domains. information is also an issue, and the project will propose a large spectrum of geospatial objects visualization techniques for interactively querying and displaying, for instance, time-evolving urban information.

The expected results can have an impact that is not limited to the urban management domain. Spatio-temporal systems have a large spectrum of application. A system that builds on state-of-the-art technologies and is demonstrated in such a demanding area as urban data is a promising development for other application domains.