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Something perceptible by one or more of the senses, especially by vision or touch; a material thing. Another term for a "feature" within a spatial database. For the purposes of this glossary, the term feature is interchangeable with object.

Temporary performance of a calculations when needed. An instruction that is transparently invoked by the user according to conditions encountered during an a transaction. Automatic Boolean operations that add, modify or skip certain processing steps under a particular set of conditions. For example, when adding a new spatial feature, the ID number of the previously encoded feature is defined along with the default rules for sequentially generating the "next" ID number to be used, modified or ignored.

An implementation of industry standards such that incompatible operating systems, hardware platforms, and application software are tied together to create compatible computing environments. System integration that adopts standards that enable diverse software and data platforms to be efficiently accessed and used by all members within an organization. Typically means that the adopted standards are determined though a consensus of interested parties rather than a single or limited number of venders.

Bundles of transparent glass or plastic strands able to transmit billions of bits of information per second in the form of light pulses generated by lasers. Telephone companies are systematically replacing conventional copper wire (metallic) with these enclosed thin glass wires, vastly increasing the variety and quality of services that can be offered to consumers. In addition to speed, optical systems are not subject to interference from random radiation in the environment as are metallic systems.

Anything an organization does toward achieving a stable purpose. An activity may be a process or a mandated function.

Attribute of spatial features that describes the angle at which it is turned from its normal north south axis. Applies particularly to text or symbols, two point line features, and entire blocks of spatial features. For example, a water hydrant with an orientation of 30 degrees would be viewed with a declination of 120 degrees from the horizontal plane.

Acronym for Open System Interconnection, it is made up of seven layers of data communication:

  1. Physical: Functional characteristics for electronic data transmissions.
  2. Data Link: Node to node integrity measure of electronic data transmission.
  3. Network: Route between sending and receiving stations (i.e., switching functions of dial-up telephone system).
  4. Transport: Transmission end-to-end integrity and validity.
  5. Session: Orderly coordination of communications (i.e., making sure that an entire message is properly received).
  6. Presentation: Common format for transmitting data between incompatible systems (i.e., ASCII, binary, etc.).
  7. Application: Communication system access rules used by a program to communicate with other programs.

Refers to a software or hardware system with a user interface so intuitive that it can be implemented without training nor reference (maybe some) to on-line or manual documentation.

Something that is laid over or covers something else.

  1. In a manual graphic information system, a transparent sheet containing graphic information, such as labels, symbols or colored areas, defined in a manner to expedite being viewed and interpreted in conjunction with other data overlays with a common coordinate system.
  2. In an automated spatial information system, same as a manual system except that all overlays are in a digital format for viewing and interpretation on a CRT screen. Each overlay defines a specific aspect of the spatial database.
  3. Typical overlays could include land use, soils, watershed boundaries or drainage system overlays, each of which is a single or set of multiple layers within the spatial information system. 4) Also refers to the intersection of two polygon layers to make a third composite overlay (i.e. soils overlaid with land use to define runoff conditions). See Intersection.

Situation where a digital line extends past the intended boundary line. This extension past the intended juncture point is called a dangle.

Data transmission wherein multiple wires simultaneously carry one data bit at a time greatly increasing the rate that data can be sent over a single wire. However, distance restrictions between components limit their use to being internal to a single device or between devices within a single room.

A portion of the earth defined by a boundary inside of which certain assigned rights apply regarding occupancy and/or use of land, air or water apply. Can also include linked attributes that define the rules and conditions for to excersicing these rights.

Technique wherein attribute lists in two different tables are joined together to function as a single DBMS table. Indexing on a common ID record in both the parent (core) and child (subordinate) table, three different kinds of links can be initiated:

One-to-one: For every record in the parent table there is one and only one record in the child table with a matching ID in the indexing fields (i.e. Parcel Record and Water Customer Record - common field: Parcel Number).

One-to-Many: For every record in the parent table, there may be one or more records in the child table with a matching ID in the indexing fields (i.e. Building record and Asbestos incidence record - common field: Building #).

Many-to-One: For every record in the child table, there is more than one record in the core table with a matching ID in indexing fields (i.e. Parcel Record and Zoning Ordinance Description - common field: Zoning Ordinance Number).

In surveying and mapping, the science, art and technology of obtaining reliable measurements and maps from photographs. Means for measuring or plotting planimetric, topographic, and other features of the earth through the use of aerial photographs and ground control.

Connection within a utility network topology, a link is physically connected to a node when one of the links end points is located at its insert point.

Abbreviation for Picture Element, the smallest nondivisible image-forming unit of a plot or video display. Each cell can have assigned attributes, in addition to color. In raster processing, pixels refer to a single cell within a matrix of grid cells. See Image, Image Processing.

Typically a improvement plan document wherein the:

Upper Portion defines an orthographic view of the land base and the horizontal alignment of a linear facility such as a roadway, pipeline, transmission line, or railroad.

Lower Portion defines the vertical alignment of the same facility indicating the natural ground elevation and elevation of various facilities (road bed, pipe invert elevations, manholes, vaults, etc.). Used to support facility planning, design, and construction.

Horizontal depiction of map features on a two-dimensional plane without any reference to contours or topographic relief. Typical features defined within a planimetric map include such natural and cultural features as streams, roads, shorelines, waterways, building footprints, reservoirs, bridges, roadways, overpasses, sidewalks and parking lots.

Single X,Y (optionally Z) location in space. Dimensionless geometric feature having no other spatial properties except location. Many different natural and man-made features are modeled as points in a spatial database including trees, hydrants, poles, building, etc.

Attribute data associated with a spatial feature that describes its positional and operational relationship with adjacent, contiguous, or other features in the spatial database.

A spatial query that determines which polygon boundary encompasses a specified point. Typical operation is to select multiple points within a boundary and assign to them an attribute equal to a characteristic assigned to all areas within the boundary (i.e. soil type) to the attributes describing the point. As a variation, one or more polygons are selected and all points within them are likewise assigned new attributes. Process can be extended to apply to linear features (line-in-polygon) and closed polygons (polygon-in-polygon) located within or partially within polygons as well.

  1. A group of polygons on one or more layers, representing various areas that make up a particular geographic theme (i.e., soil types, zoning designations, parcels, land use, etc.).
  2. Spatial analysis function that uses Boolean logic to combine two sets of polygon boundaries to create a third that represents an intersection or union of the first two.
  1. Closed plane figure bounded by three or more line segments with a nonzero area. Many different natural and man-made features are typically represented by polygons in a spatial database including soil types, water bodies, building footprints, lot boundaries, etc. Multisided feature that represents an area on a map.
  2. A type spatial query wherein the spatial selection area is a polygon shape rather than a square, rectangle, or circle.

User-defined (ON/OFF) pointer attribute describing the logical relationship of the end of a Link with the Node to which it is physically connected.

In general, precision refers to how close a measured value matches another measured value.

  1. Degree of exactness with which a quantity is stated (i.e., the number of significant decimal places in an expressed coordinate value).
  2. Can be expressed in terms of "repeatability" of a measurement, I.e., the likelihood of deriving the same coordinate values from the same mathmatical calculations.
  3. In spatial databses, refers to how many places allocated to the storage of coordinate information.


Dan Anderson

Dan Anderson

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Lewiston, ID 83501

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Lewiston, ID 83501



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