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Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

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Storage Paradigms for Areal Data

Now we turn to looking at the specifics of the different data structures used by ArcGIS. Representing “almost zero-dimensional objects” (e.g., parking meters) and “essentially one-dimensional objects” (e.g., narrow streams) is relatively simple. If an object is, for our practical purposes, just a point then a simple, single coordinate pair will suffice. If a feature can be represented by a sequence of line segments, then just a sequence of coordinate pairs does the job. Representing areas, however, is a much less straightforward problem.

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