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Data modeling is the logical construction of an abstraction of information to represent data in an application, communication protocol, or database. This entry gives a general overview of this process, with discussions of the special concerns that arise in today's geographic information implementation environments.

The most common example is an application data model intended for a single purpose. This, together with the algorithms associated with the application, drives the modeling decisions. A database or communication model is application independent and captures some essence of reality that allows different applications to access the modeled information. These form the heart of large data stores or distributed systems such as those for Web services based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

The trade-off is reusability versus performance. The application model ...

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