Object (geography)

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A geographic object is a distinct feature of the landscape, whether physically visible (e.g., a tree or a building) or existing only in abstract (e.g., a county or a metropolitan area). Objects are the most fundamental organizing principle for human understanding of the geographic environment, and are thus the basis for most geographic information systems and maps.

The Ontology of Objects

Objects may be physical or theoretical. For example, real objects could include streets or buildings. Theoretical objects could include county boundaries, population densities, or the graticule.

Representing Objects

Geospatial tools such as maps and GIS represent real-world objects as databases of digital geographic information. The description of each object may consist of data about its identity, its location in space, and its attributes or characteristics.

Spatial Location

Objects have a spatial reference to something, like geographic coordinates[1]. Objects are fixed to an actual location on the landscape.

In most digital representations, the description of an object's location is in the form of a shape of a given dimension, such as a point, polyline, or polygon.