Principals of GIS Flashcards Preview

Comp Exam > Principals of GIS > Flashcards

Flashcards in Principals of GIS Deck (30)
Loading flashcards...

What is scale factor? Know some examples.

Scale factor = ratio of local scale/primary scale. So, scale factor is the ratio of local scale and the primary scale. The local scale is the scale of the map and the primary scale is the scale of the globe. When the scale factor = 1, the local scale equals the primary scale and there is no map distortion. The scale factor = 1 at the standard line. The standard line is in essence where the projection surface touches the reference globe.


describe porjection

the process of transforming the spatial relationship of features on the Earth’s surface to a flat map. The three important projections are cylindrical, conic and planer (azimuthal). These projections can touch the reference globe at one point or line which is a simple projection. At two points it is known as secant. Different projections preserve different things: Conformal (Shape), Equivalent (Equal Area), Distance and Direction. None can do both preserve shape and area.


describe coordinates

numeric value that fixes the location of a point in space and links that point to the Earth’s surface.
--Geographic Coordinates - These are lat and long. Geographic coordinates are the most familiar. The draw back is that the coordinates are based on a globe so values are in degrees. Latitude is in the angle from the center (equator) above and below. Longitude is the angle from the 0 line which goes through London.
--Plane Rectangular Coordinates - This is a 2 dimensional Cartesian grid. Units are in meters and are specified in x and y coordinates. The units are somewhat easier to understand than for geographic coordinates.
--Plane polar Coordinates - gives an angle and a distance (don’t think this was really discussed in the class)


Describe Datum

Mathematical model of the Earth which serves as the reference or base for calculating the geographic coordinates of a location. It links the reference ellipsoid to the true shape of the earth.
--Geodetic datum= horizontal position
--Vertical datum = altitude or elevation


Describe Reference Ellipsoids

are used to model Geoid (flattening ratio = (a-b)/a, semi-major axis length =length of a)
-Used in map making to represent the surface of the earth
-No reference ellipsoid accurately portrays the entire globe perfectly
-Distortions exists
-Each regions has a different reference ellipsoid
-Distortion is minimized where the ellipsoid mirrors the actual earth surface
-Some commone referrence ellipsoids are the NAD27 and NAD83


List attribute of Vector data.

Vectors are points, line or polygons.
They represent discreat features.
They are object based with identifiable boundaries.
Vectors use topology
Vectors can be very precise.
Vectors have a well defined attribute table.
Visually appealing.
Small file size
Good spatial accuracy


List attributes of Raster data.

Units are grid cells.
No clear boundaries
No topology
no organized attrbute table
They represent continuous data
does not have discreet objects.
Each cell is homogenous.
These tend to have large file sizes
good for modeling.


What is topology in GIS?

Topology=a subfield of mathematics that, when applied to GIS, ensures that the spatial relationships between features and expressed explicitly. Topology tells the computer what the spatial relationship is between features. It is very useful in modeling and understanding things which require flow - how water would flow through a series of pipes, etc...


List the databases and explain each one.

Simple List - unorganized list
Index List - organized simple list (Phone book)
Flat File - Like in Excel. Good for data analysis but not good for large amounts of data
Relational Database - Line in MS Access. Better for large amounts of data. Can perform complex queries. Consists of a series of smaller tables which are linked by a common value. In terms of relationship cardinality, there can be a one to one, one to many, or many to many relationship. Example, one to many would be: one professor linked to many students.


What is relationship cardinality?

In terms of relationship cardinality, there can be a one to one, one to many, or many to many relationship. Example, one to many would be: one professor linked to many students.


Name the types of Queries?

Attribute and Spatial


What are the boolean operators?

Complex queries asking more than one thing at one time. AND, OR, NOT, XOR


What is required for an overlay?

input feature (Point/Line/Polygon) + Overlay (Polygon) = Output Feature with the same geometry as input.


Name the types of overlays.

Point to Polygon (Output is two points with attributes spliced together with overlay feature), Line to Polygon, Polygon to Polygon.


What does Union do

Same areas of both polygons but divides it up based upon borders.



only where polygons are ontop of each other.



Same extent as input but includes geometry and attribute data from identify map.


Name the options with geoprocessing. (7)

Dissolve, Clip, Append (Adds two maps , Select, Erase (removes areas inside the erase map overlay), Union, Update, Split.



power control the degree of local influence, points are within max and min range of original values, most widely used because easiest to do, blocky grids (not as pretty as spline but more spatially accurate)



analogous to draping a sheet over the x, y, and z values, creates a surface that passes through the control points, values not limited to the range of known points, bull’s eye (steep gradient in data poor regions). Regularized - more flexible, wider range of values and a more gradual slope between data points. Tension - more rigid sheet, shorter range of values and steeper slope between data points.



more complex and computationally intense, most advanced but all most difficult to comprehend, east to be steered down a wrong path, best interpolation technique if doing any serious GIS analysis it would be worth using. Originated in the diamond mines of South Africa. Way of predicting location of diamonds. Spatial variation consists of: spatial correlated component (values near each other), drift (values downstream higher than normal), and random error (something wrong with data - no process)


Name the 3 types of patterns.

Clustered, Random and Dispersed.


Name the 3 ways assess spatial patterns discussed.

Nearest Neighbor, Moran's I and Lisa.


What does Nearest Neighbor do?

Compares observed points to a hypothetical distribution. average distance of observed is < distance of a hypothetical random = clustered, average distances between the observed and hypothetical random are equal = random, average distance of observed values > distance of hypothetical random = dispersed


Whats up with Moran's I?

Provides a Z score to understand if dist is random. High Z (>1.96) is low probability of being random. A Z score less than -1.96 and a very positive Morans I value indicates that Like values are far away from each other.



Computes Z score for every point or polygon. A high Z means feature is adjacent to features of similar values. A high negative value means feature is adjacent to features of dissimilar values.


What is a dynamic model? What is a static model?

-dynamic=updates with current conditions
-static= one instance in time


What is a deterministic model and what is a stochastic model?

-Deterministic= a mathematical model that does not consider randomness
-Stochastic= a mathematical model that considers the presence of some randomness in one or more of its parameters.


What is a deductive model? What is an inductive Model?

-deductive=a model that represents the conclusion derived from a set of premises
-inductive=a model that represents the conclusion derived from empirical data and observations


List the two types of GIS models and explain them.

Binary = uses logical expressions to select map features from a composite map or multiple grids. The output of a binary model is in binary form (true/false) 1= suitable, and 0= unsuitable

Index= similar to binary but instead the output has ranked values from most suitable (0) to unsuitable (5)