All Topics

FC-20 - The power of maps
  • Describe how maps such as topographic maps are produced within certain relations of power and knowledge
  • Discuss how the choices used in the design of a road map will influence the experience visitors may have of the area
  • Explain how legal issues impact the design and content of such special purpose maps as subdivision plans, nautical charts, and cadastral maps
  • Exemplify maps that illustrate the provocative, propagandistic, political, and persuasive nature of maps and geospatial data
  • Demonstrate how different methods of data classification for a single dataset can produce maps that will be interpreted very differently by the user
  • Deconstruct the silences (feature omissions) on a map of a personally well known area
  • Construct two maps about a conflict or war producing one supportive of each side’s viewpoint
KE-01 - The process of GIS&T design
  • Describe the major approaches to the design of geospatial systems
  • Analyze past cases to identify best practices of design and implementation
  • Compare and contrast the relative merits of the use-case driven and architecture-centric design processes
DM-07 - The Raster Data Model

The raster data model is a widely used method of storing geographic data. The model most commonly takes the form of a grid-like structure that holds values at regularly spaced intervals over the extent of the raster. Rasters are especially well suited for storing continuous data such as temperature and elevation values, but can hold discrete and categorical data such as land use as well.  The resolution of a raster is given in linear units (e.g., meters) or angular units (e.g., one arc second) and defines the extent along one side of the grid cell. High (or fine) resolution rasters have comparatively closer spacing and more grid cells than low (or coarse) resolution rasters, and require relatively more memory to store. Active research in the domain is oriented toward improving compression schemes and implementation for alternative cell shapes (such as hexagons), and better supporting multi-resolution raster storage and analysis functions.

DM-13 - The topological model
  • Define terms related to topology (e.g., adjacency, connectivity, overlap, intersect, logical consistency)
  • Describe the integrity constraints of integrated topological models (e.g., POLYVRT)
  • Discuss the historical roots of the Census Bureau’s creation of GBF/DIME as the foundation for the development of topological data structures
  • Explain why integrated topological models have lost favor in commercial GIS software
  • Evaluate the positive and negative impacts of the shift from integrated topological models
  • Discuss the role of graph theory in topological structures
  • Exemplify the concept of planar enforcement (e.g., TIN triangles)
  • Demonstrate how a topological structure can be represented in a relational database structure
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of topological data models
  • Illustrate a topological relation
FC-27 - Thematic Accuracy Assessment

Geographic Information System (GIS) applications often involve various analytical techniques and geographic data to produce thematic maps for gaining a better understanding of geospatial situations to support spatial decisions. Accuracy assessment of a thematic map is necessary for evaluating the quality of the research results and ensuring appropriate use of the geographic data. Thematic accuracy deals with evaluating the accuracy of the attributes or labels of mapped features by comparing them to a reference that is assumed to be true. The fundamental practice presents the remote sensing approach to thematic accuracy assessment as a good guidance. For instance, the accuracy of a remote sensing image can be represented as an error matrix when the map and reference classification are conducted based on categories. This entry introduces basic concepts and techniques used in conducting thematic accuracy with an emphasis on land cover classification based on remote sensing images. The entry first introduces concepts of spatial uncertainty and spatial data quality standards and further gives an example of how spatial data quality affects thematic accuracy. Additionally, the entry illustrates the techniques that can be used to access thematic accuracy as well as using spatial autocorrelation in thematic accuracy sampling design.

AM-86 - Theory of error propagation
  • Describe stochastic error models
  • Exemplify stochastic error models used in GIScience
FC-08 - Time

Time is a fundamental concept in geography and many other disciplines. This article introduces time at three levels. At the philosophical level, the article reviews various notions on the nature of time from early mythology to modern science and reveals the dual nature of reality: external (absolute, physical) and internal (perceived, cognitive). At the analytical level, it introduces the measurement of time, the two frames of temporal reference: calendar time and clock time, and the standard time for use globally. The article continues to discuss time in GIS at the practical level. The GISystem was first created as a “static” computer-based system that stores the present status of a dynamic system. Now, GISystems can track and model the dynamics in geographical phenomena and human-environment interactions. Representations of time in dynamic GISystems adopt three perspectives: discrete time, continuous time and Minkowski’s spacetime, and three representations: ordinal, interval, and cyclical. The appropriate perspective and representation depend on the observed temporal patterns, which can be static, oscillating, chaotic, or stochastic. Recent progress in digital technology brings us opportunities and challenges to collect, manage and analyze spatio-temporal data to advance our understanding of dynamical phenomena.

DC-39 - Time-of-Arrival (TOA) Localization for Indoor GIS

Indoor geographic information system (GIS) opens up a new frontier for identifying, analyzing and solving complex problems. In many indoor GIS-driven applications such as indoor wayfinding and logistics planning and management, determination of location information deserves special attention because global positioning system (GPS) may be inaccessible. Alternative methods and systems have emerged to overcome this hurdle. The time-of-arrival (TOA) measurement is one of the most adopted metrics in numerous modern systems such as radar, acoustic/ultra-sound-based tracking, ultra-wide band (UWB) indoor localization, wireless sensor networks (WSN) and Internet of things (IoT) localization. This topic presents the TOA technique and methods to solve the localization and synchronization problem. We also introduce variants of the TOA system schemes, which are adopted by real-world applications. As a use case of the TOA technique realized in practice, a UWB localization system is introduced. Examples are given to demonstrate that indoor localization and GIS are tightly interconnected.

DM-28 - Topological relationships
  • Define various terms used to describe topological relationships, such as disjoint, overlap, within, and intersect
  • List the possible topological relationships between entities in space (e.g., 9-intersection) and time
  • Use methods that analyze topological relationships
  • Recognize the contributions of topology (the branch of mathematics) to the study of geographic relationships
  • Describe geographic phenomena in terms of their topological relationships in space and time to other phenomena
DM-10 - Triangular Irregular Network (TIN) Models

A Triangular Irregular Network (TIN) is a way of storing continuous surfaces. It is vector based, and works in such a way that it connects known data points with straight lines to create triangles, often called facets. These facets are planes that have the same slope and aspect over the facet. Collectively, these hypothetical lines form a network covering the whole surface. TINs are efficient when storing heterogeneous surfaces, since homogenous areas are stored using few data points, while areas with more variability are stored in detail using a larger number of data points. In other words, a TIN can be more detailed where the surface is complex (high variation) by using smaller facets, and less detailed where the surface is more homogeneous by using larger facets. TINs also have a high modelling potential, e.g. in topography and hydrology. However, the unique way of storing data an a TIN often makes it difficult to combine with other spatial data formats. Instead, the TIN data would usually be converted to other suitable formats.