The study of method revolves around the construction and use of models. GIS databases do not present 'the truth'. Rather they present simplified, partial, stylised and ultimately subjective representations of the truth. In short, GIS systems create models of reality, and decisions taken based upon GIS are thus taken upon models of reality, not reality itself. Furthermore, any GIS analysis is based on that model - and thus has the strengths and weaknesses associated with all forms of model building. GIS results are, ultimately, only as good as the model(s) from which they derive.

Understanding the application of GIS stems from an understanding of the fundamental methods of GISci. By adopting a formal approach to represent the real world in a digital environment you strengthen all that follows. In this section you have observed that a data model is specific to a purpose and that once created in a database environment it can be populated with data for any region and successfully serve that purpose. The database can either be a set of individual files or designedand built using a [relational] database management system. You understand that there are clear choices to be made in the entity type of each feature and its' representation as a raster or vector data model. You have identified strengths and weaknesses of these data models and understand the consequences of choosing one entity type or data model over another.

In the later part of your studies you examined techniques for spatial query and analysis and can demonstrate some of the consequences of the choice of entity type and data model. You have learned alot. Well done!