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Topology is a set of rules and behaviors that govern how spatial features are connected to one another. The importance of topology to GIS lies in its role in data management, particularly data integrity. Here, the foundations of topology are discussed, and advances in topological research of relevance to GIS are presented.

Topology, literally, the “study of place,” is a branch of mathematics. Although topology has its roots in ancient cultures, Leonard Euler's 1736 paper on “The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg” is widely cited as the first formal study. In this work, he proved that it was not possible to take a walking path through the city of Konigsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad), that crossed each of the bridges in that city only once and returned to ...

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