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SPATIAL DATA MODELS

Traditionally spatial data has been stored and presented in the form of a map. Three basic types of spatial data models have evolved for storing geographic data digitally. These are referred to as:

Vector;
Raster;
Image.


The following diagram reflects the two primary spatial data encoding techniques. These are vector and raster. Image data utilizes techniques very similar to raster data, however typically lacks the internal formats required for analysis and modeling of the data. Images reflect pictures or photographs of the landscape.

Representation of the real world and showing differences in how a vector and a raster GIS will represent this real world.