Glossary of terms



A column or field in a database table.

Attribute type

A programming domain abstraction that defines an attribute and its properties, such as the attribute datatype, on a Geo-Object Type.

Attribute term type

A specialized attribute type that defines a list of valid options for an attribute.


Collection of geographic information system data and/or orthorectified imagery that form the background setting for a map. The function of the basemap is to provide background detail necessary to orient the location of the map.

Business data

Information that is captured and stored by a business as a digital asset that may support strategy, decision making and day-to-day operations.

Common geo-registry (CGR)

An information technology solution that allows the simultaneous hosting, management, regular update and sharing of the master lists as well as associated hierarchies and geospatial data for the geographic objects core to development in general and public health in particular.

Common geo-registry interface

The functional application programming interface (API) that GeoPrism Registry uses to communicate with a back-end service that functions as the common geo-registry.

Data model

An abstract model that organizes elements of data and standardizes how they relate to one another and to properties of the real world entities.


To apply geospatial capabilities to a business process in order to establish the authoritative spatial location of business data, and enable contextual spatial analysis.

Geo-enabled data warehouse

A large store of data accumulated from a wide range of sources and in which the geographic and temporal dimensions are properly captured through the use of a common geo-registry.

Geo-enabled health information system

An information system that fully benefits from the power of geography, geospatial data and technologies through the proper integration of geography and time across its business processes.

Geographic data

Information describing the location and attributes of things, including their shapes and representation. Geographic data is the composite of spatial data and attribute data.

Geographical feature

Naturally and artificially created features on the Earth. Natural geographical features consist of landforms and ecosystems. For example, terrain types and physical factors of the environment are natural geographical features. Conversely, human settlements or other engineered forms are considered types of artificial geographical features.

Geographic information

Spatial and/or geographic data organized and presented to create some value and to answer questions.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

An integrated collection of computer software and data used to view and manage information about geographic places, analyze spatial relationships, and model spatial processes. A GIS provides a framework for gathering and organizing spatial data and related information so that it can be displayed and analyzed.

Geographic object (Geo-Object)

Computer representation of a geographical feature (e.g., point, line, polygon).

Geographic object type group (Geo-Object Type group)

Group of geographic object types having the same attribute configuration (e.g., health facilities as a Geo-Object Type group could group health posts, health centers and hospitals).

Geographic object type (Geo-Object type)

A programming domain abstraction for the common geo-registry interface that defines a type of Geo-Object (e.g. health facility, village...) including its attributes and geometry type.

Geolocation component

A component of GeoPrism Registry that captures the geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude) of point-type objects and routes captured by an end user in the field for the host application.

Geometry type

The different shapes that a Geo-Object can take (points, lines, polygons).

Geospatial data

See spatial data.

GIS Server

Web Map Server (WMS) allowing the sharing of geographic information with others through the Internet and giving access to a set of online GIS services.


The processes, structures, and organizational traditions that determine how power is exercised, how stakeholders have their say, how decisions are taken, and how decision-makers are held to account.

Global unique identifier (GUID)

A universal identifier that is globally unique across space and time.

Health Information System (HIS)

A system that integrates data collection, processing, reporting, and use of the information necessary for improving health service effectiveness and efficiency through better management at all levels of health services.


Arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another.

Hierarchy type

A programming domain abstraction that represents a specific type of hierarchy (administrative, reporting, referral...).

Host application

An application that collects business data.


Single occurrence of something.

Inversion of Control (IoC)

IoC is a design principle in which custom-written portions of a computer program receive the flow of control from a generic framework. In traditional programming, the custom code that expresses the purpose of the program calls into reusable libraries to take care of generic tasks, but with inversion of control, it is the framework that calls into the custom, or task-specific, code.

Local storage component

The component of GeoPrism Registry responsible for managing local data storage for catching location and map data offline.

Master list

Unique, authoritative, officially curated by the mandated agency, complete, up-to-date and uniquely coded list of all the active (and past active) records for a given type of geographic feature/object (e.g., health facilities, administrative divisions, villages).

Non-master list

List of active records for a geographic feature/object type that is being used as reference in a production environment for data collection and decision support by software applications without being curated by the mandated governmental entity. For example, a list of villages used for field data collection in a production DHIS2 instance is a non-master list. Past active records are also maintained in the list to ensure the continuity of system operations.


A group of people such as the Ministry of Health (MOH) or Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA).


An information technology solution that allows storing, managing, validating, updating, and sharing of the master list for a specific geographic object.


That which is required; a thing demanded or obligatory.


One of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere.

Sequence diagram

Interaction diagram showing how objects operate with one another and in what order.

Spatial data

Also referred to as geospatial data; information about the locations and shapes of geographic features and the relationships between them.

Spatial knowledge graph

An object node graph where nodes (or vertices) represent Geo-Objects and the edges represent spatial relationships between those Geo-Objects. A hierarchy is a spatial knowledge graph.


An act of describing or identifying something precisely or of stating a precise requirement.


In the CGR context, a descriptive label that is generated on the fly by combining some of the information attached to a given record (e.g., health facility type, district code, health facility code). These tags should not be used as unique identifier as they change through time.

Thematic layer

A spatial representation of analyzed geospatial data of elements of the same type (health facilities, roads, districts...).

Working master list

An instance of the master list that is undergoing a curation and governance process within the common geo-registry, but has not been published or deployed in a production environment.


The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

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