Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Trevor Harris.

Committee Co-Chair

Timothy Warner

Committee Member

Ge Lin


The adoption of object-oriented programming for spatial technological advancement is an emerging trend in GIS. This research seeks to explore Object-Oriented GIS (OOGIS) and its potential application in watershed resource management. OOGIS provides a more intuitive and realistic abstraction of real world features as intelligent objects. The ability to embed behavior, geometry, and attribution with the objects provides considerable advantages in the processing and analysis of geospatial data. The main objective of this research was to design a prototype OOGIS for watershed resource management using the object relational Arclnfo 8.1 Geodatabase. The study builds on the OOGIS concepts of inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation and defines a schema for the project. Behavior is embedded in the watershed features through the use of methods and reflex methods that automatically perform functions such as data validation and text placement. Message propagation is tested using related objects, and a smart object-based topologically integrated geometric network is established for streams and roads. Because of the embedded topological relationships and methods this network is self-adapting. The resulting system indicates that OOGIS has many advantages over the more traditional entity-relationship model. The system provides a more intuitive representation of a watershed through the integration of intelligent behaviors and is particularly effective in addressing GIS maintenance issues at a database level through the use of reflex validation methods.