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Accuracy is defined as the closeness of observations to the truth. Within geographic information science, this definition does not necessarily cater for all situations associated with geographic information—hence the use of alternative terms, such as uncertainty, precision, and vagueness. The reason for the deficiency is that while the definition works well for features in the built environment, the natural environment presents considerable difficulties when we try to describe and model it. In addition, there are several different perspectives to accuracy that are important in GIS. These are positional, temporal, and attribute accuracy and the issues of logical consistency and completeness.

Positional accuracy, the accuracy of a feature's database coordinates, can sometimes easily be confirmed. For example, how close a street pole's database coordinates are to its ...

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