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Chapter 3: Data, Information, and Where to Find Them

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    • Anonymous
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    Maps are shared, available, and distributed unlike at any other time in history. What’s more is that the process of mapping has also been decentralized and democratized so that many more people not only have access to maps but also are enabled and empowered to create their own maps. This democratization of maps and mapping is in large part attributable to a shift to digital map production and consumption. Unlike analog or hardcopy maps that are static or fixed once they are printed onto paper, digital maps are highly changeable, exchangeable, and dynamic in terms of scale, form, and content.

    To understand digital maps and mapping, it is necessary to put them into the context of computing and information technology. First, this chapter provides an introduction to the building blocks of digital maps and geographic information systems (GISs), with particular emphasis placed upon how data and information are stored as files on a computer. Second, key issues and considerations as they relate to data acquisition and data standards are presented. The chapter concludes with a discussion of where data for use with a GIS can be found. This chapter serves as the bridge between the conceptual materials presented in Chapters 1 and 2 and the chapters that follow, which contain more formal discussions about the use and application of a GIS.

    This page titled Chapter 3: Data, Information, and Where to Find Them is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Anonymous via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.