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Questions tagged [terminology]

Indicates questions asking about the use and meaning of specific technical words in GIS.

225
votes
11answers
115k views

Difference between projection and datum?

What's the difference between a projection and a datum?
100
votes
6answers
151k views

Differences between DEM, DSM and DTM?

I am listing some of the acronyms used in our work and had to stop to think about whether to list these together or separately: DEM: Digital Elevation Model DSM: Digital Surface Model DTM: Digital ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

What are LiDAR returns?

Can someone help with an explanation and some references, in order to understand the nature of return pulses within a LiDAR system.
13
votes
4answers
23k views

What is layer file (*.lyr) in ArcGIS Desktop?

My organization uses *.lyr files consistently as a means for our users to view the data and build their mxds. It works great for our purposes, but we have run into an issue where we don't think the ...
31
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do we use the terms “longitude” and “latitude” for a spherical body?

To specify a geographic coordinate we use the terms “longitude” and “latitude”. Far as I know, these terms derive from the Latin latitudo (= breadth) and longitudo (= length). In German we use the ...
10
votes
4answers
15k views

Spatial data? Geodata? Geographic Data? Geospatial data? [closed]

Language changes all the time and I see various uses of the words defining the data we use in GIS in our day-to-day lives. But what's right? Is there a right answer out there that we would all agree ...
2
votes
2answers
346 views

Terminology for distinguishing ArcPy installed with ArcGIS 10.x for Desktop from that which comes with ArcGIS Pro?

ArcGIS Pro uses Python 3 whereas the other ArcGIS for Desktop applications (ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcScene and ArcGlobe) use Python 2 and the changes introduced with ArcGIS Pro were significant ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Difference between lon and lng [closed]

When browsing the web and documentation I see the abbreviation lon and lng used for the longitude part of geometry. I was wondering if there is any difference between lng and lon.
25
votes
15answers
21k views

How do you explain what GIS is?

Whenever I do a presentation about anything related to GIS, I consider the level of knowledge of GIS of the audience. The worst times are definitely when I need to explain GIS to a group that has ...
18
votes
1answer
314k views

What is the difference between Vector and Raster data models? [duplicate]

From: http://support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/GISDictionary/term/vector%20data%20model vector data model: [data models] A representation of the world using points, lines, and polygons. Vector ...
11
votes
4answers
493 views

Define the “system” in Geographic Information System

When speaking or writing about GIS all too often the concept in peoples' minds for Geographic Information Systems can be rephrased as "the software for map data". While software is integral to GIS, ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Raster vs Grid vs Lattice terminology?

I have a question about GIS terminology - what is the difference between grid and raster and grid and lattice - in theory?? I thought, that raster is regular network and value is in the cell and the ...
4
votes
2answers
261 views

“Official” definition to hyperspectral sensor

I was checking in the literature about a formal definition for hyperspectral sensors, and the most complete definition I found was from The Center of Space Research (@ University of Texas in Austin): ...
8
votes
1answer
365 views

What does the ST prefix stand for, e.g. in ST_Polygonize?

I was just curious, and couldn't find any reference to this anywhere - is it Spatial Types? Spatial Topography? Something else?
7
votes
3answers
252 views

What's a term for Sea Level Distance which is usable by novice users?

I've been using the term Sea Level Distance to describe the total length of a line string where I ignore the elevation and just calculate the distance from point to point along the ellipsoid and sum ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How many kinds of “address” are there? [closed]

I'm defining "address" as "a physical location, usually visibly numbered". Numbered was used in the definition to exclude purely geographical features not usually considered to have or need an ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Correct use of the terms geographic, path, and Euclidean distance

I often use the terms geographic and Euclidean distance interchangeably when referring to the length of the shortest straight-line distance between two points on a map. Is this correct? I use the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between Key-Point, Tie-Point in Photogrammetry?

I'm looking into the reports & the Mechanism of UAV Photogrammetry software like Pix4D and AgiSoft. These two words are mentioned in a lot of support documentation, but they are defined no-where. ...
9
votes
3answers
181 views

Adjective meaning “of the same resolution and extent”

Is there a word that can be used to describe two or more raster grids having the same resolution and extent? I'm fishing around with words like "coincident" and "coextensive," but nothing feels quite ...