Chapter 1

From AMLCartography
Jump to: navigation, search

The Utility of Maps and Graphics

Maps have a wide variety of uses, ranging from the recording of information (such as cadastral maps) to aiding navigation (such as road maps and naval charts). Two of the main uses of maps (and graphics) in environmental analysis, particularly as assisted by geographic information systems, are the analysis of data and the presentation of data. Neither of these uses precludes the other, and both can be aided by good graphic design techniques. Graphic design requires an understanding of the data (and the information represented by the data), an understanding of the methods of visual communication, and the ability to make use of the available means of communication. Although each of these components is described in other places (such as statistics books for data analysis, cartographic texts for visualization of spatial data, and software manuals for the actual production of maps), this guideline integrates these three areas in the context of the Environmental Systems Research Institute's geographic information system, ARC/INFO revision 6, as the available means of communication.

As such, chapter one contains a brief discussion of data and meta-data issues, and visualization and communication theory; chapter two consists of a discussion of issues involved in the design of maps, such as projections and data classification, as accomplished in ARC/INFO; and chapters three through nine present ARC Macro Language programs for specific symbolization techniques for point, line and area data. Chapter ten provides a brief conclusion.