Even though the field of spatial databases is more than 40 years old, most existing logical data models are highly focused either on spatial objects (vector data models) or spatial fields (raster data models). Furthermore, spatial index structures and query algorithms are still proposed for one of the approaches and little research work has been dedicated to index structures and query algorithms where both types of information are needed. However, due to the current high availability of different types of data, it is much more common nowadays that applications require querying vector and raster data at the same time.
This paper presents a method to perform a spatial query between a vector data set represented using an R-tree and a raster data set represented using a compact and space-efficient data structure called k2-tree that saves main memory space. Therefore, the method described in this paper solves two problems: first, it can be used to evaluate queries between vector and raster data without having to convert one of the data sets to the other data model; and second, it saves main memory space, thus obtaining a more scalable system.