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Optimization is a fundamental concern in many facets of geographic information science (GISci). There are two definitions of optimization that reflect GISci concerns:

  • Achieving the greatest efficiency possible in operations or processing
  • Identifying the best value or solution to a problem

Both definitions are consistent with each other but are interpreted in different contexts. The first definition more generally applies to the database management side of GISci and reflects the perspective that a system may be “optimized for performance.” This implies that operations performed by the system are as efficient as possible and that usability is the best that it can be. The second definition is more in line with the spatial analysis aspect of GISci, presenting a more mathematical view of optimization that seeks to obtain values ...

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