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This paper investigates the problems that arise when application requirements command that autonomous spatial databases be integrated into a federated one. The paper focuses on the most critical issues raised by the integration of databases of different scales. A short presentation of approaches to interoperability and of the main steps composing the integration process is given first. Next, a general format is proposed for precisely defining correspondences between objects of two databases.doi:10.1080/136588198241824 fatcat:eayg66kmkbfivat6fdfz442yqu