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Paper: Application of the Linear Quadtree to Astronomical Databases
Volume: 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV
Page: 472
Authors: Barrett, P.
Abstract: Quadtrees have a wide range of applications, from graphics to image processing to spatial information systems. The use of linear quadtrees to represent spatial information has been widely used in geography, but rarely in astronomy. With the advent of the Guide Star Catalog and other large astronomical source lists, an efficient method of storing and accessing such spatial data is necessary. We show that encoding astronomical coordinates as a linear quadtree, instead of right ascension and declination as is typically done, can provide significant improvements in efficiency when accessing sources near a given spatial direction. We also discuss how the linear quadtree can aid in the correlation of source positions from different astronomical catalogs and how it can be applied to relational databases.
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