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The term normalization has two meanings in geographic information science, one adopted from relational database theory and the other from statistics. The two usages are loosely related, as both are methods for transforming data into standard forms to reduce redundancy and the possibility of error.

Database Normalization

When constructing relational databases, normalization is a process of transforming attribute data into normal form, a series of constraints that minimize data redundancy and the likelihood of error. In the original relational theory, three levels of normalization were defined.

First normal form requires every record in a table to be identified by a primary key, which is one field or a combination of two or more fields that have a unique value for every record. A primary key could be built ...

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