The word data is the plural of the Latin datum, meaning a given, or that which we take for granted and use as the basis of our calculations. This meaning is carried in the French word for statistical data, données. We ordinarily think of data as derived from measurements from a machine, survey, census, test, rating, or questionnaire — most frequently numerical. In a more general sense, however, data are symbolic representations of observations or thoughts about the world. As we have seen, we do not need to begin with numerals to create a graphic. Text strings, symbols, shapes, pictures, graphs themselves, can all be graphed.
KeywordsGeographic Information System Data Cube Military Expenditure Graphical Object Retinal Cell Ganglion
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