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GIS Cookbook: Glossary
  • Feature - A digital representation of something in the real world. For example, dots or points on a map layer may represent the location of schools, a line may represent a river, and a polygon may represent the outline of an area such as a county.
  • Feature class - Feature classes are classifications and representations of geographic features and supporting data in coverages. Feature classes represented as geographic features include points, arcs, nodes, route-systems, routes, sections, polygons, and regions. They can also store annotations, dimensions, x, y, z coordinates, and addresses. Feature classes can be found in a feature dataset where the same coordinate system can be shared and organized into a geometric network that can maintain topological relationships between its feature classes. Feature classes can also exist independently in the geodatabase.
  • Feature dataset - A feature dataset is a collection of feature classes sharing the same spatial reference. These feature classes can take part in topological relationships with each other such as in a geometric network. Feature datasets can also store object classes and relationship classes.

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