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NSDI Data Model

A data model in geographic information systems is a mathematical construct for representing geographic objects or surfaces as data. For example, the vector data model represents geography as collections of points, lines, and polygons; the raster data model represent geography as cell matrices that store numeric values; and the TIN data model represents geography as sets of contiguous, nonoverlapping triangles.

A new wave of technological innovation allows to capture, store, process and display an unprecedented amount of geographical and spatial information about the society and a wide variety of environmental and cultural phenomena.