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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. The format can deal with a wide range of discrepancies in GIS data. Last, a solution is presented for aggregation conflicts which arise when one object of one database corresponds to a set of objects in the other database, a very frequent case when the databases are of different scales. The method is applied to excerpts of real cartographic databases.