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In the context of geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping, annotation refers to the process of adding labels, symbols, or other text or graphical elements to a map or other spatial data visualization. These elements can be used to provide additional information about features or locations on the map, such as the names of places or the descriptions of the types of features depicted. Annotation can be used to improve the readability and clarity of a map, especially when the map is being used to communicate information to a wide audience.

Annotation can be added to a map using various tools and techniques, depending on the software and data being used. For example, in a GIS software like ArcGIS, annotation can be added using the Annotation tool, which allows users to create text labels and symbols and position them on the map. In addition to static annotation, some GIS software also supports dynamic annotation, which updates automatically based on changes to the map or data. For example, if the map is zoomed in or out, the annotation may adjust to maintain the same relative position and size on the map.


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