How does ArcMap know where to draw objects?

Discussion created by cminniti on Oct 27, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 1, 2011 by withershin
This is a decidely insignificant question but I've been curious for as long as I've used ArcGIS where the program retains the data/information for the particular geometry of objects.  And by this, I mean where is the information retained about the particulars of the polygons, such as number and relative location of verticies, length of each segment comprising a polygon, etc.

For the sake of clarity (and because I don't feel I've expressed my question well), this question comes from a discussion I was having with my co-worker.  Unfortunately, I am the resident GIS expert at my company, which is disconcerting since I'm no where near an expert with GIS.  As the "expert" I was asked by my co-worker if it is possible to fill out a table in excel with all the information necessary to create a shapefile before ever entering or using ArcMap?  I had no idea what to say...