An Erlang implementation of the R*-tree spacial data structure
Latest commit bbb7f40 Dec 18, 2014 @armon Merge pull request #1 from hce/master
Add a fucntion to retrieve the opaque value

Erlang Rstar Build Status

This application provides a pure Erlang implementation of the R-tree data structure. The R-tree structure is particularly suited for indexing multi-dimensional data, with relatively low dimensionality. It is a commonly used data structure for geo-spacial data for this reason. In addition to efficiently supporting window queries, it can also quickly find the nearest neighbors of a point.

This implementation is in-memory only and does not provide builtin support for disk-backed usaged.


  • rstar : The primary top level module used to manipulate the tree
  • rstar_geometry : Used to modify the geometry type associated with trees
  • rstar_util: Contains a various utility methods that may be useful


Below are some examples of usage. Simple creation of trees and population of points:

% Creates a two dimensional R-tree
Tree = rstar:new(2),

% Create a point, at X:1, Y:3, opaque value foo
Point = rstar_geometry:point2d(1, 3, foo),

% Insert into the tree, returning a new tree
T2 = rstar:insert(Tree, Point),

% Delete the point
T3 = rstar:delete(T2, Point).

Creating various geometries:

% Create a 2D box from the origin to 2,2
Box = rstar_geometry:new(2, [{0, 2}, {0, 2}], small_box),

% Create a 3D box
Box3D = rstar_geometry:new(3, [{2, 3}, {2, 3}, {2, 3}], three_d_box),

% Create a 3D point
Point3D = rstar_geometry:point3d(0, 1, 2, point3d),

% Create a 4D point at the origin
Origin4D = rstar_geometry:origin(4).

Various queries:

% Create a tree and populate it
T = rstar:new(2),
TFinal = rstar:insert(...),

% Do box query
Box = rstar_geometry:new(2, [{0, 2}, {0, 2}], small_box),
Matching = rstar:search_within(TFinal, Box),

% Do a circular query around a point within a distance of 10 units
% Distance is Euclidean distance
Point = rstar_geometry:point2d(1, 3, undefined),
Matching = rstar:search_around(TFinal, Point, 10.0),

% Find the nearest 20 points
Matching = rstar:search_nearest(TFinal, Point, 20),


Related works: