Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 16 Issue 01

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Volume 16, No. 1
Pages 11 - 19


"C-Squares," A New Spatial Indexing System and its Applicability to the Description of Oceanographic Datasets

Tony Rees
Article Abstract

A new method is described for representing, querying, displaying and exchanging dataset spatial extents at the metadata level. This method, entitled “c-squares” for Concise Spatial Query And Representation System, represents dataset spatial extents (footprints) as regular or irregular shapes built up from smaller component units (grid squares) coded according to a globally applicable system, and permits more reliable spatial queries than are presently enabled by the commonly used “bounding rectangles” method in metadata systems. The method is equally applicable to marine and terrestrial datasets but is particularly useful for marine data (which frequently have irregular, voyage-specific footprints), plus other dataset types not well represented by bounding rectangles.


Rees, T. 2003. “C-Squares,” A new spatial indexing system and its applicability to the description of oceanographic datasets. Oceanography 16(1):11–19, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2003.52.

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