All Topics

AM-49 - Using models to represent information and processes
  • Define a homomorphism as a mathematical property
  • Evaluate existing systems to determine whether they are adequate representations
  • Assess the data quality needed for a new application to be successful
  • Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of using models to study and manage the world as opposed to experimenting in the world directly
  • Describe the ways in which an existing model faithfully represents reality and the ways in which it does not
DM-30 - Vagueness
  • Compare and contrast the meanings of related terms such as vague, fuzzy, imprecise, indefinite, indiscrete, unclear, and ambiguous
  • Describe the cognitive processes that tend to create vagueness
  • Recognize the degree to which vagueness depends on scale
  • Evaluate vagueness in the locations, time, attributes, and other aspects of geographic phenomena
  • Differentiate between the following concepts: vagueness and ambiguity, well defined and poorly defined objects and fields, and discord and non-specificity
  • Identify the hedges used in language to convey vagueness
  • Evaluate the role that system complexity, dynamic processes, and subjectivity play in the creation of vague phenomena and concepts
  • Differentiate applications in which vagueness is an acceptable trait from those in which it is unacceptable
KE-14 - Valuing and measuring benefits
  • Distinguish between operational, organizational, and societal activities that rely upon geospatial information
  • Describe the potential benefits of geospatial information in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and equity
  • Explain how cost-benefit analyses can be manipulated
  • Compare and contrast the evaluation of benefits at different scales (e.g., national, regional/state, local)
  • Identify practical problems in defining and measuring the value of geospatial information in land or other business decisions
DC-14 - Vector data extraction
  • Describe the source data, instrumentation, and workflow involved in extracting vector data (features and elevations) from analog and digital stereoimagery
  • Discuss future prospects for automated feature extraction from aerial imagery
  • Discuss the extent to which vector data extraction from aerial stereoimagery has been automated
CV-03 - Vector Formats and Sources
  • List the data required to explore a specified problem
  • Discuss the extent, classification, and currency of government data sources and their influence on mapping
  • List the data required to compile a map that conveys a specified message
  • Discuss the issue of conflation of data from different sources or for different uses as it relates to mapping
  • Describe a situation in which it would be acceptable to use smaller-scale data sources for compilation to compile a larger scale map
  • Describe the copyright issues involved in various cartographic source materials
  • Explain how data acquired from primary sources, such as satellite imagery and GPS, differ from data compiled from maps, such as DLGs
  • Explain how digital data compiled from map sources influences how subsidiary maps are compiled and used
  • Explain how geographic names databases (i.e., gazetteer) are used for mapping
  • Explain how the inherent properties of digital data, such as Digital Elevation Models, influence how maps can be compiled from them
  • Identify the types of attributes that will be required to map a particular distribution for selected geographic features
  • Determine the standard scale of compilation of government data sources
  • Assess the data quality of a source dataset for appropriateness for a given mapping task, including an evaluation of the data resolution, extent, currency or date of compilation, and level of generalization in the attribute classification
  • Compile a map using at least three data sources
AM-59 - Vector-to-raster and raster-to-vector conversions
  • Explain how the vector/raster/vector conversion process of graphic images and algorithms takes place and how the results are achieved
  • Create estimated tessellated data sets from point samples or isolines using interpolation operations that are appropriate to the specific situation
  • Illustrate the impact of vector/raster/vector conversions on the quality of a dataset
  • Convert vector data to raster format and back using GIS software
DM-51 - Vertical datums
  • Explain how a vertical datum is established
  • Differentiate between NAVD 29 and NAVD 88
  • Illustrate the difference between a vertical datum and a geoid
  • Illustrate the relationship among the concepts ellipsoidal (or geodetic) height, geoidal height, and orthometric elevation
  • Outline the historical development of vertical datums
CV-16 - Virtual and immersive environments
  • Discuss the nature and use of virtual environments, such as Google Earth
  • Explain how various data formats and software and hardware environments support immersive visualization
  • Compare and contrast the relative advantages of different immersive display systems used for cartographic visualization (e.g., CAVEs, GeoWalls)
  • Evaluate the extent to which a GeoWall or CAVE does or does not enhance understanding of spatial data
  • Explain how the virtual and immersive environments become increasingly more complex as we move from the relatively non-immersive VRML desktop environment to a stereoscopic display (e.g., a GeoWall) to a more fully immersive CAVE
CV-07 - Visual Hierarchy, Layout, and Map Elements
  • List the major factors that should be considered in preparing a map
  • Discuss how to create an intellectual and visual hierarchy on maps
  • Discuss the differences between maps that use the same data but are for different purposes and intended audiences
  • Discuss Tufte’s influence (or lack thereof) on cartographic design
  • Critique the graphic design of several maps in terms of balance, legibility, clarity, visual contrast, figure-ground organization, and hierarchal organization
  • Critique the layout of several maps, taking into account the map audience and purpose and the graphic design (visual balance, hierarchy, figure-ground), as well as the map components (north arrow, scale bar, and legend)
  • Design maps that are appropriate for users with vision limitations
  • Apply one or more Gestalt principles to achieve appropriate figure-ground for map elements
  • Prepare different map layouts using the same map components (main map area, inset maps, titles, legends, scale bars, north arrows, grids, and graticule) to produce maps with very distinctive purposes
  • Prepare different maps using the same data for different purposes and intended audiences (e.g., expert and novice hikers)
  • Describe differences in design needed for a map that is to be viewed on the Internet versus as a 5-by 7-foot poster, including a discussion of the effect of viewing distance, lighting, and media type
  • Describe the design needs of special purpose maps, such as subdivision plans, cadastral mapping, drainage plans, nautical charts, aeronautical charts, geological maps, military maps, wiremesh volume maps, and 3-D plans of urban change
CP-14 - Web GIS

Web GIS allows the sharing of GIS data, maps, and spatial processing across private and public computer networks. Understanding web GIS requires learning the roles of client and server machines and the standards and protocols around how they communicate to accomplish tasks. Cloud computing models have allowed web-based GIS operations to be scaled out to handle large jobs, while also enabling the marketing of services on a per-transaction basis.

A variety of toolkits allow the development of GIS-related websites and mobile apps. Some web GIS implementations bring together map layers and GIS services from multiple locations. In web environments, performance and security are two concerns that require heightened attention. App users expect speed, achievable through caching, indexing, and other techniques. Security precautions are necessary to ensure sensitive data is only revealed to authorized viewers.

Many organizations have embraced the web as a way to openly share spatial data at a relatively low cost. Also, the web-enabled expansion of spatial data production by nonexperts (sometimes known as “neogeography”) offers a rich field for alternative mappings and critical study of GIS and society.