UNIT 2 - MAPS AND MAP ANALYSIS

UNIT 2 - MAPS AND MAP ANALYSIS

Compiled with assistance from David Rhind, Birkbeck College, University of London


For Information that Supplements the Contents of this Unit:

Cartographic Communication (Foote and Crum/Geographer's Craft) -- Elements of effective cartographic design.
Cartography/Maps (U of Western Ontario)
Fundamental of Cartography (NAIS) -- Illustrated and described: Map projections; tables showing properties of projections.
Map Projection Overview (Dana/Geographer's Craft)
Thematic and Base Map images of Canada (NAIS) -- Thematic maps (e.g. ethnic diversity, satellite image); Base maps (e.g. Canada base map series, world).
What Does Analytical Cartography have to do with GIS? (Chrisman/U of Washington) -- GIS definitions; schools of thought about maps and mapping.


  • A. INTRODUCTION
  • B. WHAT IS A MAP?
  • C. WHAT ARE MAPS USED FOR?
  • D. THE USE OF MAPS FOR INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS
  • E. AUTOMATED AND COMPUTER-ASSISTED CARTOGRAPHY
  • F. GIS COMPARED TO MAPS
  • REFERENCES
  • EXAM AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • NOTES
  • This unit explores the map analysis roots of GIS. We have placed it early in the sequence as we feel the issues discussed here determine to a large extent how GIS users presently view the role of GIS and it should help to put later lectures into perspective. Illustrate this unit with several examples of different kinds of maps from your map collection.

    UNIT 2 - MAPS AND MAP ANALYSIS

    Compiled with assistance from David Rhind, Birkbeck College, University of London

    A. INTRODUCTION

    B. WHAT IS A MAP?

    Definition

    Maps show more than the Earth's surface

    Cartographic abstraction

    Types of maps

    Thematic maps in GIS

    Line maps versus photo maps

    Characteristics of maps

    The concept of scale

    Map projections

    C. WHAT ARE MAPS USED FOR?

    Data display

    Data stores

    Spatial indexes

    Data analysis tool

    D. THE USE OF MAPS FOR INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS

    Measuring land use change

    Landscape architecture

    E. AUTOMATED AND COMPUTER-ASSISTED CARTOGRAPHY

    Changeover to computer mapping

    Advantages of computer cartography

    Disadvantages of computer cartography

    GIS and Computer Cartography

    F. GIS COMPARED TO MAPS

    Data stores

    Data indexes

    Data analysis tools

    Data display tools

    REFERENCES

    Dobson, J.E., 1983. "Automated geography," Professional Geographer 35:135-43. Compares the potential of digital and conventional map use. See also the set of discussions published in the next issue.

    Goodchild, M.F., 1988. "Stepping over the line: technological constraints and the new cartography," American Cartographer 15:311-9. Argues that cartography's traditions are derived from its reliance on pen and paper, and looks at how these constraints are removed by automation.

    McHarg, I.L., 1969. Design With Nature, Doubleday, New York. The definitive work on the use of map analysis in landscape architecture.

    Rhind, D.W., 1988. "Personality as a factor in the development of a discipline: the example of computer- assisted cartography," American Cartographer 15:277-90. Examines the history of the digital revolution in cartography and the effect of key personalities.

    Tobler, W.R., 1959. "Automation and cartography," Geographical Review 49:526-34. An early perspective and prophesy.

    Tomlinson, R.F., 1988. "The impact of the transition from analogue to digital cartographic representation," American Cartographer 15:249-62. An overview from a pioneer of GIS.

    EXAM AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1. What steps can be taken to minimize the effects of generalization and error in digital data obtained from maps?

    2. "In a computer environment, there is no longer any useful distinction between topographic and thematic maps". Is this true?

    3. Using a planimeter, determine the length of time it would take you to measure areas of different shapes and sizes. With these results, estimate the cost of analyzing the Canada Land Inventory using planimetry, assuming that the inventory is shown on 2,000 map sheets, and that there are on average 1,000 areas to be measured on each sheet. (Calculations of this nature were the basis for the cost/benefit study which justified the development of the Canada Geographic Information System in the mid 1960s.)

    4. The papers by Tomlinson, Rhind and Goodchild referenced above are published in a special issue of the American Cartographer devoted to the so-called digital revolution in cartography. Compare the different perspectives presented by the authors in the special issue. What might account for the different perspectives the various authors have taken?


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