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As with many other terms in geographic information science, the term polygon operations arose in a specific technological setting, which emphasized polygons as the primary object to handle. As the field evolved, a broader class of geometric problems became implicated, but the terminology remains. Despite the reference to “polygons,” this entry covers a range of geometric transformations at the core of the processing facilities that make GIS different from regular information systems.

This entry covers a collection of procedures, including point-in-polygon, polygon overlay, dissolve/ merge, buffer generation, and geometric validation. All of these (and some related ones) can be carried out with a common set of geometric processing engines, though distinct interfaces are used to make it easier for users to access the common solution as ...

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