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Chapter 1:GIS

1.1 GIS
1.2 Elements of GIS
1.3 Applications of GIS
1.4 Integration of GIS, Web2.0, and Mobile Technology
1.5 Organization of This Book
1.6 Concepts and Practice

Geosocial data: Geotagged posts on social networks such as

Twitter and Instagram.

Geospatial data: Data that describe both the locations

and characteristics of spatial features on the Earth’s surface.

Mashup Mapping: Mapping that combines the user’s contents

(e.g., text, photos, and videos) with Web-based maps.

Object-based data model: A data model that uses objects to

organize spatial data and stores geometries and attributes in a
single system.

Raster data model: A data model that uses a grid and cells to
represent the spatial variation of a feature
Relational database: A collection of tables that are
connected to one another by keys.
Topology: A subfield of mathematics that, when applied to GIS,
ensures that the spatial relationships between features are
expressed explicitly.

Triangulated irregular network (TIN): Composite vector data that

approximate the terrain with a set of non overlapping triangles.
Vector data model: A spatial data model that uses points and their
x-, y-coordinates to construct spatial features of points, lines, and

Volunteered geographic information: Geographic

information generated by the public using Web
applications and services.

1. Define geospatial data.

2. Describe an example of GIS application from your discipline.

3. Go to the USGS National Map website

(http://nationalmap.gov/viewer.html) and see what kinds of
geospatial data are available for download.

4. Go to the National Institute of Justice website

(http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/maps/) and read
how GIS is used for crime analysis.

5. Location-based services are probably the most commercialized

GIS-related field. Search for “location-based service” on
Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/) and read what has been
posted on the topic.

6. What types of software and hardware are you currently using for
GIS classes and projects?
7. Try the map locators offered by Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo!
Maps, and Google Maps, respectively. State the major differences
among these three systems.

8. Define geometries and attributes as the two

components of GIS data.
9. Explain the difference between vector data and raster data.

10. Explain the difference between the georelational data model and the
object-based data model.

11. Provide an example of mashup mapping.

12. Why is “volunteered geographic information” useful for disaster


13. The following link, http://www.openstreetmap

.org/#map=12/52.1977/0.1507, shows a map of Cambridge, England, based
on OpenStreetMap data. Use the map to compare the quality of
OpenStreetMap data with Google Maps.

14. Suppose you are required to do a GIS project for a class. What types of
activities or operations do you have to perform to complete the project?

15. Name two examples of vector data analysis.

16. Name two examples of raster data analysis.

17. Describe an example from your discipline in which a GIS can provide
useful tools for building a model.