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GIS Integration Glossary

Terms are labeled Esri and Cartegraph when commonly associated with one part of the integrated GIS solution. Unmarked terms are used by both products.

address matching (Esri)

A mechanism for relating two files using address as the related item. Geographic coordinates and attributes can be transferred from one address to the other. For example, a data file containing a student’s address can be matched to a street coverage that contains addresses creating point coverage of where the student lives.

attachment (Cartegraph)

A reference to or location of a file related to a record. This file may be an image, document, or spreadsheet.

attribute (Esri)

A characteristic of a geographic feature described by numbers, characters, or other data, which is stored in tabular format and linked to the feature by a user-assigned identifier. For example, attributes of a well might include depth and gallons per minute. An attribute relates to a Cartegraph field.


The most popular commercial computer-aided design (CAD) software package. Written and distributed by Autodesk, Inc.


A measure of the volume of data that can flow through a communications link. Image data tend to exist as large datasets; thus, moving image datasets from one computer to another requires high bandwidth or performance is slowed. Also known as throughput.

basemaps (Esri)

A map containing visible surface features and boundaries, essential for locating additional layers or types of georeferenced information.

Cartegraph Locked Value (Cartegraph)

Fields in a Two-Way integration where the Cartegraph field is the field of record. Any GIS modifications to this associated field will be overwritten with the Cartegraph value.


The art or science of making maps.

child recordset (Cartegraph)

Child recordsets are collections of fields that relate to a parent record. For each parent record, there may be many child records. Inspections are a typical example of a child recordset.


A software system is said to have client/server architecture when there is a central process (server) that accepts requests from multiple user processes (clients).


A logical collection of interrelated information managed and stored as a unit, usually on some form of mass storage system such as magnetic tape or disk. A GIS database includes data about the locations and shape of geographic features as well as their attributes. A Cartegraph database includes data about an asset including conditions, financial and event data.


Convert analog data into a digital form. Also, more specifically, use an X-Y digitizing tablet to convert data to digital form.

domain (Esri)

In a database, the set of allowed values for a table column. For example, a defined list of pipe materials. Domains are related to Cartegraph libraries. The GIS attribute related to the domain is related to Cartegraph lookup fields.

feature (Esri)

A feature is a continuous area (it may have holes in it). Features may represent anything the user chooses to isolate and identify, like ponds, pipes, or pumps. Features relate to Cartegraph records.

feature class (Esri)

A class is a set of all features of the same material. Any grouping of points, lines, or polygons, regardless of the data storage format. A class is named to identify the kind of material it contains. For example, corn. Feature Classes relate to Cartegraph recordsets.

feature class layer (Cartegraph)

The feature class layer list in Cartegraph’s GIS Associations allows you to select the feature class the association is connecting to.

feature layer (Esri)

An ArcGIS Feature layer displays features from a layer of an ArcGIS Server Feature Service or an ArcGIS Server Map Service.

feature service (Esri)

A feature service allows users to edit vector-based features via the web using ArcGIS for Server, Portal for ArcGIS, or ArcGIS Online.

field (Cartegraph)

One component in a database record. Fields report values (either qualitative or quantitative) for the individual represented by that record. A Cartegraph field is related to a geodatabase attribute.

field data collector

An electronic device that collects and stores observation information from survey instruments. Two types of devices are available–one records X, Y, and Z coordinates using a satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) and the other device records distance and bearing.

geocode (Esri)

The process of identifying the coordinates of a location given its address. For example, an address can be matched against a TIGER street network to determine the location of a home. Also referred to as address geocoding.

geodata (Esri)

The source of data for an Esri data source. This data may be stored in an SDE database, in a personal geodatabase, or in a shapefile.

geodatabase (Esri)

The geodatabase provides the common data access and management framework for ArcGIS that enables you to deploy GIS functionality and business logic wherever it is needed—in desktops, servers (including the Web), or mobile devices.ArcGIS supports two physical implementations of the geodatabase: personal geodatabase or enterprise geodatabase.


Geographic Information System. A Geographic Information System is a computer system designed to allow users to collect, manage, and analyze large volumes of spatially referenced and associated attribute data. In the broadest sense, a GIS is any integrated system of information that includes a geographic component.


Global Positioning System. A network of radio-emitting satellites deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Ground-based GPS receivers can automatically derive accurate surface coordinates for all kinds of GIS, mapping, and surveying data collection.

ID (Cartegraph)

The unique identifier or key data that identifies assets. The unique identifier field(s) must be associated in an integrated database solution.

integration type (Cartegraph)

Two-Way integrations allow both systems, Cartegraph and GIS, to update each other based on the last updated record. One-Way integrations only allow Cartegraph to create, update, or delete GIS records.

layer (Esri)

A display entity comprised of one or more components that can be manipulated separately from other layers. Any individual (usually) horizontal stratum used to organize logical groupings of spatial data. In ArcGIS, the word layer is used to describe a specific object or file used to symbolize a feature class.

library (Cartegraph)

A special recordset that stores often-used values. Values are stored in the library, and the asset record uses a lookup field to store the data.

lookup (Cartegraph)

A field in the asset recordset that stores a value, which has its source in a library.

Map Engine (Cartegraph)

Software that connects data from Cartegraph and geodatabases. This software maintains the live connection between data sources and eliminates redundant data entry.

M-Aware (Esri)

A coordinate value of a horizontal distance on a feature. Linear features, like streets. can be m-aware, allowing for spatial analysis in GIS and the ability to locate events along a linear feature when only a distance along a segment value is known.


The process of reconciling differences between Cartegraph and geodatabase data. This process may require manual changes to data and/or data structures so that the data can be connected.

objectID also OID (Esri)

The system-generated unique identifier of a feature. This field may not be associated with any Cartegraph fields.

parent recordset (Cartegraph)

A parent recordset contains information about a particular asset. Parent recordsets may contain child recordsets such as inspections, attachments or history. Only parent recordsets can be associated with geodata.

record (Cartegraph)

Records contain one or more fields related to an asset or item. A record is related to an ArcGIS feature.

recordset (Cartegraph)

A recordset is a collection of fields that relate to a particular asset. A recordset relates to an ArcGIS feature class.

remote sensing

Acquiring information about an object without contacting it physically. Methods include aerial photography, radar and satellite imaging.


The level of object detail or sharpness determined by how many picture elements compose an area of a display or corresponding raster. Resolution may refer to sensors, raster objects, or displays. Low-resolution display devices produce images with a grainy visual texture. High-resolution displays use such small picture elements that they can produce a near-photographic quality image.

schema (Esri)

The organization and relationships used for a database. A schema includes attributes, data type and size information, subtypes and domains for a feature class.

SDE database (Esri)

A multi-user spatial database, which lets many people in an organization simultaneously update data stored in a centrally located database.

shapefile (Esri)

A vector data storage format for storing the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. A shapefile is stored in a set of related files and contains one feature class. A shapefile can be related to a Cartegraph recordset.

spatial (Esri)

An adjective applied to objects that vary in space in two or three dimensions.

subtype (Esri)

A way to group or classify data based on attributes. The Esri data source stores an integer value, although a description is displayed for the user. This value may be used to provide additional attribute values. Subtypes are usually related to a Cartegraph library.


A database is organized into tables that contain records. Tables cover different topics related to the same common theme. The theme and its extent of development determine the number of tables that comprise the database. For example, the Crow Butte soil polygon database contains twelve tables, in such areas as yield, crop potential, and statistical information.


In connection with GIS and computer graphics, this term is used more loosely to refer to a set of vectors joined end to end to make an arc or irregular line with a uniform set of properties.

Z-aware (Esri)

A coordinate value of a vertical measurement like elevation. Used in ArcGIS to assign elevation or height and depth to a feature. Assigning a Z value to a water valve to represent its depth in the ground is an example.