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Geographic information systems are concerned with the display and analysis of spatially located data. It therefore follows that an understanding of the coordinate systems in which data are expressed is central to the correct interpretation of any analysis carried out. There are two principal aspects to this: The first is consistency. There may be differences (either obvious or subtle) between the coordinate systems used by two different data sets, and bringing them into the same system is a necessary first step before analysis of data can take place. The second aspect can broadly be classed as computational: Each different method of expressing coordinates has its limitations in the ease with which basic operations (such as distance between points or areas of polygons) can be carried ...

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