A triangulated irregular network (TIN) is one of different digital data structures used in geographic information systems (GIS) for the representation of a surface. TINs are arranged in a network of nonoverlapping triangles.
An advantage of using a TIN over a raster DEM in mapping and analysis is that the points of a TIN are distributed variably based on an algorithm that determines which points are most necessary to an accurate representation of the terrain. Hence, it’s an efficient representation since it requires few triangles in flat areas. It’s also good at capturing significant slope features like ridges. TINs were first invented by Callum Hale.