I am a CS major with little experience in GIS. I am working on vector polygon overlay. Looking at GML and shapefile data, I realized that a map is made up of a large number of polygons. Does a polygon in a map intersect with another polygon in the same map? In other words, is it correct to assume that no two polygons in one map intersect with one another? It is very difficult to verify this by looking at the vertices of the polygon because of the sheer size of the files.
closed as not a real question by blah238, iant♦, PolyGeo, Get Spatial, djq Oct 28 '12 at 23:04
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I think what you are describing is known as coplanar polygons - shapefiles are more likely to keep two polygons in separate "planes", i.e. no intersections created, but the Union tool can be used to planarize them.
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