Human Geography

Download A Primer of GIS: Fundamental Geographic and Cartographic by Francis Harvey PhD PDF

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By Francis Harvey PhD

This pragmatic publication introduces key innovations and abilities to arrange scholars to appreciate and use geographic details structures (GIS). The textual content completely explains what geographic info is, the way it is represented and analyzed, and what it communicates approximately human and environmental actions and occasions that ensue on our planet. simple ideas of map making and map interpreting are built-in with discussions of suitable details applied sciences and functions. Written in an available type, the textual content is prepared into 4 components that may be utilized in any series in entry-level and extra really expert GIS classes. elementary gains contain sensible examples and workouts, attractive vignettes, and important net assets.

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For example, the measurement of a person’s height cannot be meaningful combined with the measurement of his or her hair color. Following Stevens, height is an interval measure and color is a nominal value. In all, Stevens differentiates four types of measurement, which unfortunately are not exhaustive and fail to include common types of geographical information such as radial measures of angles. The four measurements and their definitions are: Nominal Qualitative measurements (name, type, state) Ordinal Quantitative measurements with a clear order, but without a defined 0 value (small, medium, large) Interval Quantitative measurements with a defined beginning point (temperature, height, distance) Ratio Quantitative measurements that provide a relationship between two properties where the 0 value indicates the absence of the relationship (particulates mg/m3, time to cover a distance, dissolved oxygen in a liter of water) Sinton’s Framework Applying Stevens’s measurement framework to manual cartography was relatively straightforward because of an individual’s (or organization’s) control of the design and drawing process.

A computer scientist may represent the same things and events as a data model or a database. A geographer may represent these things as objects and as relationships. A cartographer may represent them as features and attributes. For some people, representations have dangerously replaced experience. On the other end of the spectrum, other people find that our enhanced technologies for representation make it possible to transcend past limitations. We can talk to people all over the world, they may point out, but others ask, For what good?

Data is what is stored based on observations and measurements. Perhaps when the data is collected it means something, but when it is stored in a database and eventually used by other people who weren’t involved in its collection, it may mean nothing at all. To make data “mean something,” it has to be associated with a context—for example, the types of measurements, the rules used for making observations, and the possible uses of the data. With the Internet and online data clearinghouses, this has become commonplace.

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