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GEG2320 - Fianl Study Notes.docx

Course Code
GEG 2320
Study Guide

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Chapter 1 – Systems, Science and Study
-Scale or level of geographic detail is an essential property of any GIS project
-Geographic problems can be distinguished on the basis of intent, or purpose
-Normative use (of GIS): GIS that focuses on design
-Positive use (of GIS): uses that advance science
oEx: new location for retailers = normative (focus on design) but to predict
how consumers will respond to new locations must analyze and model the
actual patterns of behaviour they exhibit = positive
-Geographic problems can be distinguished by their time scale
-Spatial : any space, not only the space of the Earth’s surface
-Geospatial : a subset of spatial applied specifically to the Earth’s surface and near
-Information systems help us to manage what we know (organize, store, access,
retrieve, manipulate, synthesize, apply, etc)
-Data : consist of numbers, text, or symbols that are in some sense neutral and
almost context-free
-Codifiable knowledge : it can be written down and transferred with relative ease to
-Tacit : implicit/ understood knowledge
-Knowledge about how the world works is more valuable than knowledge about
how it looks because it can be used to predict
-Ideographic geography : focuses on the description of form and emphasizes the
unique characteristics of places
-Nomotheic geography : seeks to discover general processes
-Many geographic problems involve multiple goals and objectives 

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-GIS relies heavily on the internet and the limited-access intranets of corporations,
agencies and military
Chapter 2 – A Gallery of Applications
-GIS is fundamentally about solving real-world problems
-5 Ms of GIS
Chapter 3 – Representing Geography
-Representations help us assemble far more knowledge about the Earth than is
possible on our own
-Toblers First law of Geography: Everything is related to everything else, but
near things are more related than distant things
-Data in digital form are easy to transform, process and analyze
oGIS allows us to measure accurately and quickly, to overlay and combine,
and to change scale, zoom, and pan with respect to map sheet
-Geographic representations is concerned with the Earth’s surface or near surface
at scales from the architectural to the global
-The key GIs representation issues are what to represent and how to represent it
-One of the most important criteria for the usefulness of a representation is its
-Many plans for the real world can be tested first on models or representations
-Geographic data link place, time, and attributes
-Geographic attributes are classified as nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio and

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oNominal – serves on to identify or distinguish one entity from another
Ex: numbers on driver’s license
oOrdinal – values have a natural order
Ex: Canada rates its agricultural land by classes of soil quality
(class 1 = best, class 2 = not so good, etc.)
oInterval – if the difference between the values makes sense
Ex: the Celsius scale is interval because it makes sense to say that
30 and 20 are as different as 20 and 10
oRatio – if the ratios between values makes sense
Ex: weight is a ratio because it makes sense to say that a person of
100kg is twice as heavy as a person of 50kg
oCyclic – examples: flow of direction on a map, or compass direction, or
longitude, or month of the year
-The world is infinitely complex, but computer systems are finite. Representations
must somehow limit the amount of detail captured
-The 2 fundamental ways of representing geography are discrete objects and
continuous fields
oDiscrete objects view: represents the geographic world as objects with
well-defined boundaries in otherwise empty space (can count these)
oContinuous field view: represents the real world as a finite number of
variables, each one defined at every possible position
-Raster and vector are two methods of representing geographic data in digital
oRaster representations – divide the world into arrays of cells and assign
attributes to the cells
oVector representations – all lines are connected by precisely straight lines
-10 rules of generalization
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