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Despite the well-established benefits of conceptual modeling for application design, current spatio-temporal conceptual models do not cope satisfactorily with designers' requirements. In this paper we first identify the goals of a spatio-temporal conceptual model and then we describe the MADS model along its structural and spatial dimensions. As the modeling concepts are orthogonal, the proposed model achieves both simplicity (as concepts are independent from each other) and expressive power (as concepts may be freely associated). The model, which includes the features of the ODMG standard model for object-oriented systems, has been implemented by translating it into operational models of existing products. Experience gained by modeling a number of applications enabled us to assess the advantages of MADS with respect to traditional entity-relationship modeling. A visual schema editor and a visual query editor are being developed