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Lecture 2

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Western University
Geography 1400F/G
Godwin Arku

Why Should I Care About Maps? Lecture 2A Why Maps?  Hunting  Trade  Navigation  Land division  Maps can only express one or a few pieces of information  Ancient maps just showed physical features What is GIS?  Geographic Information Systems ~ COMPUTER MAPPING  “A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.” -ESRI, 2009  Takes a lot of the cost out of mapmaking because you do not have to print it  It is able to manipulate actual data that you have collected  It takes people or machines to conduct analysis  What’s on the world influences what we can collect about the world Concepts of GIS (Types of Spatial Data)  Raster (or grid) o Covers an entire area of study o Cells/pixels (like a digital picture) o Unique values o If you take an aerial picture, that is a raster image of the ground o Ex: elevation, land use, climate data  Vector (or geometrical shapes) o Only have to draw on what you’re looking at o Vector data make up any type of geometric shape o Very important to urban geographers o Points: entity points, label points, and nodes (ex: incidents, people, intersections, fire hydrants) o Polylines: line segments, links, chains and arcs (ex: road/sewer networks, rivers) o Polygons: a closed area, polygons (ex: parks, buildings, census tracts)  Vector and raster used together o The power is layering o Ex: Google Maps Concepts of GIS (Information)  Spatial location: where is it…  Attributes: what do we know about it?  Attribute data (non-graphic): o Descriptive information about the geographic entities (names, addresses) and spatial relationships including connectivity, adjacency, and contiguity Getting Data into a GIS How do we put this information into map form?  Geocoding (giving something an address) o Finding the geographic location based on other geographic data o Like postal codes, street addresses, latitude/longitude coordinates  Digitizing (connect the dots) o Drawing in the spatial information about a feature What do we use to make these maps?  IDRISI (Clark Labs)  ArcMap (ESRI) What kinds of maps can we make with this information?  General Maps o Topographic maps o Political maps  Thematic Maps o Choropleth (colouring geographic regions based on values) o Proportional symbol (dots/graphs based on values) o Dot (density based on values) The Problem of a non-flat Earth  Map projections  May or may not preserve: o Area o Bearing o Direction o Distance o Scale o Shape How are they used today?  Private sector o Individuals o Companies  Public sector o Governments o Schools  Various levels of sophistication Applications of GIS  Driving directions  In-car navigation/route planning  Weather  Routing of emergency vehicles  Mapping incidences of crime  Road and infrastructure maintenance  Climate trends  Natural resources  sustainable energy  Real estate  Urban planning  residential development  Land surveying  Municipal services  Cultural geography  Politics  Planetary science  Cheating spouses Western Geographers and GIS  Relationship of childhood health conditions to socioeconomic and environmental factors  Plume modeling of industrial air pollution  Land use regression and community health  Multi-criteria decision analysis for land use planning  Urban morphology of residential development Job Prospects  Community planner  GIS technician  Natural resources manager  Surveyor  Watershed hydrologist  Remote sensing operator  Environmental scientist  Traffic engineer  GIS programmer  Geologist  Anthropologist  Climatologist  Emergency management  Demographer  Park ranger  Real estate appraisal  Meteorologist  Cartographer  Map curator/librarian The World in Spatial Terms – Geographic Research & Maps Lecture 2B The Research Process 2 general approaches to developing knowledge: 1. Inductive reasoning  A form of reasoning that makes generalization based on individual
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