Link Concept

PlaceLynx uses xml-formatted link definitions to describe connections between various data environments. Each link embodies a relationship between a source dataset and a target dataset together with an action to perform in the target environment.

A parcel layer in the GIS that contains an attribute called PIN (parcel identification number) may be associated with permit documents if they have a similar attribute or if they contain the parcel identifier as electronic text. The source dataset is the parcels layer; the target dataset is the document type containing permits; and the action is document selection.

Based on Schema Relationships

It is not necessary to explicitly associate each document, map feature and database record. Instead, PlaceLynx actively searches for matches in the target environment based on the selected link definition every time a user executes the link. Any changes in the target environment, like documents that have been edited, or table rows that have been added, will automatically be reflected in the link results the next time the link gets executed.


A link can begin or end in any dataset:

  • map layer to document class
  • document class to map layer
  • document class to table
  • table to table
  • etc...


Links perform a variety of actions:

  • select data
  • transfer information between systems
  • create new data
  • modify existing data.


  • Tolerant of Differences in Data Formats
Sometimes the same type of data is recorded differently in separate information systems - a parcel number might be contained in a single field in the GIS but split into several fields in the CMS, or, it might contain dashes in the CMS, but not in the GIS. The link definition format is powerful enough to accommodate these kinds of differences
  • Support for Complex Data Relationships
A map feature could be associated with more than one document or record. In fact, relationships between map features, documents, an records could be 1:1, 1:N, or M:N. Links can accommodate all of these complexities.
  • Can thread through multiple datasets
Links can chain together to perform complex operations. For example, finding easement documents for a parcel might entail first finding records in a database table, then linking from the table to the documents.
  • Variety of Methods to Form Associations Between Data
Each information management technology provides special retrieval tools that are uniquely suited to its own particular type of data. We support a variety of link types that utilize these special retrieval capabilities.