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- [data structures] The data structure in a coverage used to represent linear features and polygon boundaries and to support analysis functions, such as network tracing. Nodes represent the beginning and ending vertices of each arc. Arcs that share a node are connected, and polygons are defined by a series of connected arcs. An arc that intersects another arc is split into two arcs. Each arc that defines all or part of a polygon boundary records the number of the polygon to its left and to its right, giving it a direction of travel.