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Chapter 3- Digital

Representation and
Organization of Geospatial
Concepts and Techniques of
Geographic Information Systems,
by C.P Lo and Albert K.W. Yeung
► GIS:Maps are dynamic
representations of geospatial features,
unlike paper maps.

► Data Model: A way of representing

Representing Geographic Space
► Features are either objects or phenomena.

► Twotypes of models to represent this:

object-based and field-based.

► Object-based modeling treats features as

discrete objects
 Must have identifiable boundaries
 Relevant to intended application
 Has attribute data
 Can include either exact objects or fuzzy objects
Figure 3.3
► Field-based models: spatial phenomenon
that vary continuously across the landscape

► Can be obtained directly or indirectly

► Directmeans it is derived from remote


► Indirectmeans it was processed from a

primary data source, i.e.. interpolated
surfaces, DEMs, etc.
Figure 3.4
Data Classification
► Geospatialdata typically collected and
stored as categorical.

►A classification scheme includes:

 Descriptive names
 Definitions
Non-categorical Data
Categorical Data
► Divecontinuous space into discrete
units of unique possible values

► Called quantizing space

► Lessexact location than vector, but

you have more control on spatial

► Anyshape possible….but square is

Figure 3.17
Figure 3.19
Table 3.2
Digital Elevation Model (DEM)
Digital Ortho Quad (DOQQ)
Digital Line (Raster) Graphic
NLCD Land Cover
Where do you find all of this
► TNRIS: Texas
Natural Resource
Information System
In Class Skill Builder
► Pair-up
► Download A 30 meter Digital Elevation Model
► Unzip it to an file on the C:\ (NOT THE DESKTOP)
► View it in ArcCatalog
► Open the red toolbox icon
► Go to Conversion Tools/To Raster/DEM to Raster
► Convert your DEM to a GRID
► Load your newly created DEM into ArcMap
► Try downloading and adding more data from TNRIS
to your project.
Vector Data
► Object–oriented approach to
representation of real-world features
and is best used to represent discrete

► All vector data built on two concepts:

 Decomposition of spatial objects into
basic elements (points, lines, polygons).
 Use of topology (spatial relationships)
Nature and Characteristics of
Vector Data
► BasicGraphical Elements are
represented by at least one pair of
coordinate points.
 Points: One pair of coordinate points
 Lines or Arcs: string of coordinates that
begin and end with a “node.”
 Polygons: closed group of coordinates
► SpaghettiData: vector data that has
been collected but not structured
Figure 3.20
Structured Vector Data
► Have:
 Topological Relationships : A set of rules
and behaviors that model how points,
lines, and polygons share geometry. For
example, adjacent features, such as two
counties, will share a common edge.
 Linked to descriptive data in geospatial
Why Topology?
► Manage shared geometry. For example,
adjacent polygons, such as parcels, share
edges; adjacent soil polygons share edges.
► Define and enforce data integrity rules (no
gaps should exist between parcels, no
overlap, etc.)
► Support topological relationship queries and
navigation (have the ability to identify
adjacent and connected features, find
shared edges, etc.)
Why Topology?
► Support sophisticated editing tools
that enforce the topological
constraints of the data model (e.g.
ability to edit a shared edge and
update all the features that share the
common edge).
► Construct features from unstructured
geometry (restructure spaghetti)
The Other Definition of Topology
► The branch of mathematics that
studies those properties of geometric
figures that are unchanged when the
shape of a figure is twisted, stretched,
shrunk, or otherwise distorted without
► Math concerned with spatial
► This is how we think, or how we
perceive geography using our mental
maps (not coordinates)
Figure 3.21
Figure 3.22
Table 3.3
Representation of Vector
► Governed by scale
► Cartographic Generalization: line and
area objects are represented by more
coordinates at a larger scale than at a
smaller scale.
► Cartographic Symbolization: vector
data are represented by different
symbols that serve to visually
distinguish them from one another
when the data are displayed.
Basic Elements of Topology
► Adjacency: information about the
neighborhood among spatial objects.
► Containment: information about
inclusion of one spatial object within
another spatial object
► Connectivity: information about
linkages among spatial objects.
Figure 3.23
Figure 3.28
► Introducedwith ArcGIS 8.0
► Term has several meanings
 A common data access and management
framework for ArcGIS software products that
enables folks to use GIS across computer
 A generic GIS data model for defining all types of
geospatial data by using a rich set of data types
and sophisticated referential integrity and
topological rules
 A combined system of databases that are
enhanced by added geospatial data layers and
built-in map displays, feature editing and spatial
analysis functions
 All data sets use the same data tables and
metadata and all is cross-indexed.
Figure 3.37
Table 3.4