Data models are used in GIS to help show objects, area’s and surfaces as data. Models are important because it can affect the way data is stored and shows how a project could be solved in different solutions. These models are made by a set of constructs, describing and represented selected aspects of the real-world. There are different types of data models, but all models are based off of two categories; vector data models and raster data models. Vector data models usually are isolated features like certain locations for grocery stores using points, lines and polygons to represent the data. Raster models usually are continuous numeric values (i.e. sea level depth). This model uses a matrix to represent the data. 
Data Modeling is the process of representing the real world or reality in a computer by using various digital components to represent the features of the real world in a simple way. Data modeling also provides a way to conduct analysis of the information stored in the model. A GIS user can create several different types of data models.
Raster Models are one of the most basic ways to model a landscape or area of interest. Raster modeling represents the real world by placing a grid over the real world and classifying each cell of the grid according to the model.
Another type of data modeling is vector data modeling. This method attempts to model the real world by using symbols in three categories: point, line and polygon. this method is advantageous because it utilizes simple geometric shapes that can be easily stored and analyzed by the GIS user.
- Geographic Information Systems and Science Longley (2005)
|Authors||Janalyn Washburn, Jon Peaden|
|Editors||Nathan Thomas, Bryce Albrecht|