Topology and RDBMS’s
I just read through an interesting article by Joe Celko where he actually admits that “RDBMS is very useful, but there are problems in the world that cannot be done with deductive methods”. Joe then describes how a tool like Cogito that can do “graph theory” (i.e. topology) is useful for discovering relationships.
In my earlier post I discussed some limitations I see in using featurelayers to describe spatial phenomena that are not yet fully understood. Here is an attempt to elaborate further.
Suppose there is a soldier on patrol policing some foreign land. Let’s say this soldier is equiped with a tablet with GIS and Cogito (or something similar) on it. As he patrols he makes observations that populate a Cogito graph. Some (though not necessarily all) of the observations would tie to a feature on the map.
I wonder if ArcGIS’s topology engine could be adapted to provide functionality similar to Cogito. Cogito’s whitepaper doesn’t go into much detail on how it manages location. Interesting how Cogito’s graphics are similar to those produced by ArcGIS schematics.
PS – here‘s a whitepaper that describes the graph database.