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Introduction to Cartography GEOG 2016 E. Lecture-6 Data Processing and Classification. Cartographic Data Management. Management of data to produce a map consists of following steps: Selection Preliminary steps to gather the appropriate data. Classification Simplification

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Introduction to cartography geog 2016 e

Introduction to CartographyGEOG 2016 E


Data Processing and Classification

Cartographic data management
Cartographic Data Management

  • Management of data to produce a map consists of following steps:

    • Selection

      • Preliminary steps to gather the appropriate data.

    • Classification

    • Simplification

      • These are the data processing steps.


  • Classification means grouping values into classes such that the required geographic patterns become prominent.

Class boundaries equal interval
Class Boundaries – Equal Interval

  • Equal Interval

    • The whole range is divided into equal intervals called classes.

    • Each class is filled with the number of values found in the corresponding interval.






Class boundaries quantile
Class Boundaries - Quantile

  • Quantile

    • Each class is creates such that it contains equal number of values.

    • The classes may have different widths.






Class boundaries natural break
Class Boundaries – Natural Break

  • Natural Break

    • Class boundaries are choses when there is appreciable change in data.

    • Classes may have different widths.

Class boundaries standard deviation
Class Boundaries – Standard Deviation

  • Standard Deviation

    • Class boundaries are chosen with respect to deviation from the mean.

    • Classes may have different widths.



  • Simplification means changing geometry such that relevant details get pronounced and irrelevant details get suppressed.

Line Simplification

Area Simplification

Storing information
Storing Information

  • To generate maps we need data.

  • These data can be in analog or digital form.

  • The generated map can also be in analog or digital form.

  • Analog

    • World is scaled to a miniature representation

    • A paper map is analog

  • Digital

    • Data and map are stored in computer memory

    • Manipulation and analysis of data and maps are possible

Geographic information
Geographic Information

  • A piece of geographic information can have location, time and attribute

  • Analog information

    • It’s cold today in Sudbury

  • Digital information

    • At 46.45783 degrees latitude and -81.00443 degrees longitude at 7 am the temperature was -10 degrees Celsius

Discrete objects
Discrete Objects

  • Objects on a map are represented by points, lines and areas

  • These discrete objects can be stored in a digital database

  • They can then be:

    • Analyzed

    • Manipulated

    • Counted


  • There are a number of parameters that are important in terms of geographic representation.

    • Temperature

    • Soil pH

    • Soil type

    • Land type

    • Elevation

    • Rainfall

    • Taxation rate

    • Population

    • ……

Geographic representation
Geographic Representation

  • In geography each variable can be represented in different ways:

    • Polygons

    • Grids

    • TIN (Triangular Irregular Network)

    • Sample points

    • Contours

Spatial data
Spatial Data

Grid co-ordinate


Latitude / Longitude



Distance & bearing

Characteristics of spatial data
Characteristics of Spatial Data


  • The shape of a building or county

  • The course of a river, the route of a road

  • The shape of the landscape, relief

Characteristics of spatial data1
Characteristics of Spatial Data

  • Topology

    • Connected to

    • Within

    • Adjacent to

    • North of . . .

  • Example

    • Within the town of Lively

    • Opposite the Fraser building

    • South of main library

    • Adjacent to the Parker building

  • Data modeling steps
    Data Modeling Steps

    • Identify the important features

    • Decide how you can best represent them: point, line, polygon

    • Find the important attributes related to all the features

    • Store information in a geographic database

    Digital data formats

    GIS VectorFormat

    GIS RasterFormat

    Map Feature

    (X,Y)Coordinate in space

    Cell Locatedin an Array

    Digital Data Formats

    • In geography, there are two main digital data formats:

      • Raster

      • Vector

    Vector and raster representations

    GIS VectorFormat

    GIS RasterFormat

    Map Feature

    Vector and Raster Representations

    Vector and raster representations1

    GIS VectorFormat

    GIS RasterFormat

    Map Feature

    Vector and Raster Representations

    Comparison raster and vector formats
    Comparison: Raster and Vector Formats



    • Raster formats are efficient when comparing information among arrays with the same cell size.

    • Raster files are generally very large because each cell occupies a separate line of data, only one attribute can be assigned to each cell, and cell sizes are relatively small.

    • Vector formats are efficient when comparing information whose geographical shapes and sizes are different.

    • Vector files are much smaller because a relatively small number of vectors can precisely describe large areas and many attributes can be ascribed to these areas.

    Digital databases
    Digital Databases

    • There is no single database that can store every imaginable piece of geographic information.

    • Specialized databases have been developed to handle selected pieces of spatial data.

    • Some of these databases are in proprietary formats while others are in open formats.

    Thematic database
    Thematic Database

    • A thematic database contains special datasets associated with a particular activity.

    • Soil Survey Geographic Database or SSURGO contains the attributes related to soil. This database has been developed by the Soil Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

    • Similarly, the National Wetland Inventory or NWI has constructed a database that contains information on wetland location and types.

    Digital elevation database
    Digital Elevation Database

    • Digital Elevation Model or DEM consists of an array of regularly spaced elevations.

    • The United States Geological Survey or USGS provides a number of DEM databases with different array spacings and geographical coverages.

    • In Canada, GeoBase provides DEM in support from Natural Resources Canada.

    Digital image data
    Digital Image Data

    • More and more governmental and private agencies are starting to provide digital imagery.

    • These photos are based on satellite and aerial photography