Spatial data are 3-dimensional (3-D). Modern measurement systems collect data in 3-D. Computer data bases store digital 3-D spatial data. Human perception of spatial relationships is primarily visual and intuitively related to 2-D horizontal and 1-D vertical. Conventional methods of handling 3-D geospatial data are unnecessarily complex due to 1) the traditional separation of horizontal and vertical, 2) using mixed units (angular for latitude/longitude and length for vertical), and 3) using 2-dimensional map projections to ”flatten the earth.” A universal 3-dimensional global spatial data model (GSDM) has been defined (Burkholder 1997c) which is based upon assumptions of 3-D measurements and digital data storage. It is equally applicable world-wide, offers a simple data exchange format which supports interoperability and seamless integration, and uses standard deviations to describe spatial data accuracy. The GSDM accommodates all modes of spatial data measurement, does not distort physical distances as does a map projection, uses one set of solid geometry equations, portrays an accurate view of spatial data from any perspective selected by the user, preserves computational and geometrical integrity by using coordinate differences, stores point locatio
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