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Raster and

Vector Data
Models
Outlines
 Introduction
 Raster and Vector Data Models
 Raster Data
 Vector Data
 Raster and Vector Structures
 Raster and Vector Advantages and
Disadvantages
What are the two types
of Data Models?
 Spatial data in GIS has two primary
data formats: raster and vector.

 Raster uses a grid cell structure,

whereas

 vector is more like a drawn map.


Raster and Vector Data
 Vector format has points, lines, polygons
that appear normal, much like a map.

 Raster format generalizes the scene into


a grid of cells, each with a code to
indicate the feature being depicted. The
cell is the minimum mapping unit.
Raster and Vector
Data

Raster has generalized


reality: all of the features in
the cell area are reduced to
a single cell identity.
VECTOR AND RASTER DATA STRUCTURE
RASTER CELL CODING: CASE OF
MULTIPLE LANDUSE IN ONE CELL
Raster and Vector Data Models
 Raster: cell’s value or code
represents all of the features
within the grid,
 it does not maintain true size,

shape, or location for individual


features.
 Even where “nothing” exists (no

data), the cells must be coded.


Raster and Vector Data Models
 Vectors: are data elements
describing position and
direction.
 Vector is the map-like drawing

of features
 Therefore, shape is better

retained.
 Vector is much more spatially

accurate than the raster format.


RASTER AND VECTOR DATA MODELS
RASTER AND VECTOR DATA MODELS
POINT FEATURE
Raster Data

 Raster Coding
 Resolution

 Gridding and Linear

Features
 Raster Precision and

Accuracy
Raster Data Sources
 Satellite imagery
 Landsat data; SPOT data
 Existing cell-based data
 DEM; Arc/Info Grid; GRASS; IDRISI
 Scanned imagery
 aerial photographs; hard copy maps
 Vector--to--raster conversion
Raster Coding
 In the data entry process,
maps can be digitized or
scanned
 at a selected cell size and

 each cell assigned a code

or value.
Raster Coding
 The cell size can be adjusted
according to the grid
structure or by ground units,
also termed resolution.

 There are three basic and


one advanced scheme for
assigning cell codes.
Raster Coding Methods
 Presence/Absence: is the most
basic method and to record a
feature if some of it occurs in the
cell space.

 Cell Center: involves reading only


the center of the cell and assigning
the code accordingly.

 Not good for points or lines.


Raster Coding Methods
 Dominant Area: to assign
the cell code to the feature
with the largest (dominant)
share of the cell.

 This is suitable primarily for


polygons.
Raster Coding Methods
 Percent Coverage: a more
advanced method.

 To separate each feature


for coding into individual
themes and then assign
values that show its
percent cover in each cell.
Raster Coding Methods
Raster Coding Methods
Raster Coding
Problems
 Raster coding produces
spatial inaccuracies
Raster Coding Problems
Raster Coding Problems
Raster Coding Problems
Raster Coding Problems
Solution
 One possible solution is to
increase the resolution by
increasing the number of
cells,

 making each one smaller


and therefore more
sensitive to accurate
classification.
Raster Mapping
 A major problem with the
raster structure is that the
shape of features is forced
into an artificial grid cell
format.
Raster Mapping
 For right-angled features, such
as square agricultural fields or
rectangular political districts,
this may not present a major
problem.

 However, for many features, size


and shape can become
undesirably distorted.
Raster Mapping
Resolution
 Increasing the number of cells on a
data set increases spatial resolution,
which helps to increase spatial
accuracy.

 One advantage to using relatively few


cells is the short processing time and
ease of analysis.
Raster Resolution
Gridding and Linear
Features
 Low-resolution raster results in a
rather generalized and crude
shape.
 High-resolution raster shape
appears more realistic,
 though still a long way from the
vector shape and spatial
accuracy.
Features
Raster Precision and
Accuracy
 Precision (the exact location) and
accuracy (maximum spatial truth) are
often a problem for Raster Data.

 Because the raster cell is the


maximum resolution and the
minimum mapping unit,

 there is no way to know exactly


where small feature occurs.
Spatial Resolution:
Selected Satellite Systems

Image Source:Korte GIS Book. p 77


Raster Precision and Accuracy
 Smaller cells have less spatial
error because the area of doubt
is smaller.

 Uncertainty becomes greater


when measuring across cells.

 Area measurement are also


generalized.
Vector Data
 Vector features appear more realistic than raster
features and have better spatial accuracy.
 Vector features are defined primarily by their

shapes, more specifically by the outline of their


shapes.
 The vector system is a coordinate-based data

structure.
Vector Data
 Shape points are the ends
and bends that define the
feature’s outline.

 At the beginning and end of


every line or polygon
feature is a node.
Vector Data
 At each bend (change of
direction) is a vertex (plural:
vertices).

 Node are end points and vertices


are between, defining the shape.

 Point features are standalone


nodes.
Vector Data
 Arcs connect the shape points to draw
the feature’s outline.
 Arcs are vectors or data structure
paths that are not part of the actual
stored data elements;
 they are not real lines,

 but define and present the connection


between shape points.
Vector Data
 Vector system data files
store only the coordinate of
each node and vertex;

 the hardware draws the


connecting chain segments.
Vector Data
The vector data structure
is also known as an arc-
node model because it
uses

 chains (arcs) and


 end points (nodes).
VECTOR DATA: GIS FEATURE
Raster and Vector
Structures
 Raster and vector
structure have different
methods of storing and
displaying spatial data.
Raster and Vector
Structures
 Raster cells are stored and
displayed as cells,
 but in the vector format

only the nodes and vertices


are stored.
 This results in considerable

data storage differences.


Raster and Vector
Structures
 A point in a raster system is a
single cell,

 but in a vector system it is only a


node represented by a symbol
with its coordinate position noted.
Raster and Vector
Structures
 A simple line in a raster system
consists of a sequence of cells.

 In a vector system, a simple line


consists of two nodes and a ARC
that connects them.
Raster and Vector
Structures
 A more complex raster line
consists of connected cells.

 Complex lines in the vector


format have vertices to
mark changes in direction,
with nodes at each end.
Raster and Vector
Structures
 Raster polygons are filled with cells.
 For single polygons, the vector

format usually has a single node and


several vertices to mark the
boundary direction changes.
Raster and Vector
Structures
 Connected polygons are
simply two blocks of cells in
the raster format,

 but in vector they share a


common border and some
common nodes.
Raster to Vector
Conversion
There are at least four basic reasons to convert from
raster to vector:
(1) better visual appearance of vector features;
(2) some plotter work only on vector data;
(3) comparison with vector data is best when both
data files have identical formats;
Raster to Vector
Conversion
Fourth basic reasonto convert from
raster to vector:
(4) some GIS systems have vectors as
the central operating data structure.

 Rasterization of vector data is often


called gridding.
Raster Advantages
 A relatively simple data structure;

 The simple grid structure makes


analysis easier.

 The computer platform can be


“low tech” and inexpensive.
Raster Advantages
 Remote sensing imagery is typically
obtained in raster format.

 Modeling is the creation of a


generalized data file or a set of
universal procedures to accomplish a
certain GIS task.
Raster Disadvantages
 Spatial inaccuracies

 Because each cell tends to


generalize a landscape, the
result is relatively low
resolution compared to the
vector format.
Raster Disadvantages
 Because of spatial inaccuracies
caused by data generalization, a
raster format cannot tell
precisely what exists at a given
location.

 Each cell must have a code,


even where nothing exists.
Vector Advantages
 Vector data is more map-like.
 Is very high resolution.

 The high resolution supports high spatial


accuracy.

 Vector formats have storage advantages.

 The general public usually understands what is


shown on vector maps.

 Vector data can be topological.


Vector Disadvantages
 May be more difficult to manage than
raster formats.

 Require more powerful, high-tech


machines.

 The use of better computers, increased


management needs, and other
considerations often make the vector
format more expensive.
Vector Disadvantages
 Learning the technical
aspects of vector system is
more difficult than
understanding the
simplicity of the raster
format, particularly when
topology is introduced.