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Data conversion involves transforming data sources into digital GIS formats and organizing them within the GIS database to meet users'requirements for geospatial applications and the decision support products they produce. Data conversion is an important part of the process of building a database for use with a GIS because it not only standardizes the database but is also useful for filling the gaps. These gaps can come from data needs that are unmet by the large amount of geographic information already existing in standardized digital GIS data sets available from governmental agencies and commercial vendors via the Internet.

Primary sources used in data conversion are often paper maps and records, aerial photography, satellite imagery, global position system (GPS) and computeraided design (CAD) files. The resulting database ...

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