Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Question:
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What is Conflation?

Answer:

Conflation is formally defined as the procedure of reconciling the positions of corresponding features in different data layers. More commonly this is referred to as sliver removal. Often two layers that contain the same feature, e.g. soils and forest stands both with a specific lake, do not have exactly the same boundaries for that feature, e.g. the lake. This may be caused by a lack of coordination or data prioritization during digitizing or by a number of different manipulation and analysis techniques. When the two layers are combined, e.g. normally in polygon overlay, they will not match precisely and small sliver polygons will be created. Conflation is concerned with the process for removing these slivers and reconciling the common boundary.

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