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Terms starting with F

Also called “formatted string literals,” f-strings are ways of formating text so that expressions (like variables) can appear within strings. They have an f at the beginning and curly braces containing expressions that will be replaced with their values.

A feature is a visual element on a map. For vector data it’s the points, lines and polygons. Each individual feature (each point, each line, and each polygon) is represented as a row in the attribute table.

A filesystem (or file system) is a set of methods and data structures that an operating system (e.g., Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.) uses to  control how data is stored and retrieved on a disk (such as your computer’s hard drive, or even a USB pen drive). Some operating systems include support for more than one file system.

A data type in Python that represents numbers with decimal points.

A for-loop is a way of going through an entire sequence of items, like a list. A for-loop “iterates” over a sequence, which means it does something to each item in that sequence. With for-loops we can carry out a command for multiple items in a sequence.

Forking is a proper function of the GitHub platform. It supports collaboration by allowing you to copy someone else’s repository to your own account on GitHub while maintaining a trail of attribution and derivation. Once the files are forks, you can clone or download them, edit them, and share your changes on GitHub. Git and GitHub help track and be transparent about contributions or attribution.


FTP is a protocol used to share files from your computer (a client) to another computer called a server, and back again over the internet.

Functions are ways of doing things in Python. They take some input and do something with it, and can return a value. For example, a function can return the results of a calculation. If your function takes an argument, it will go inside the parentheses. Functions are first defined then called to be executed. This allows you to first write the function but only call it (execute its code) when you need to in Python. Example:

def multiply(a, b):
    result = a * b
multiply(2, 3)

The first code block defines the function multiply() which takes a & b as arguments. The function sets result to the caluclation of a x b. It then returns the value of result. Finally, the function is called with arguments 2 & 3, which will be substituted for a and b in the function definition.