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Web Mapping Illustrated by Tyler Mitchell

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Common Pitfalls, Deadends, and Irritations

Many maps can now be created in the safety of a home or office without the need to sail the seas to chart new territories. The traditional, nondigital methods of surveying to produce maps held certain dangers that are quite different from those of today. However, digital mapping has its own problems and irritations. The pitfalls today may not involve physical danger but instead involve poor quality, inappropriate data, or restricted access to the right kind of information.

Finding Good Source Data

A bad map isn't much better than a blank map. This book doesn't discuss good map design (the art of cartography), but an equally important factor plays into digital mapping: the quality of source data. Because maps are based on some sort of source data, it is imperative to have good quality information at the beginning. The maxim garbage in, garbage out definitely applies; bad data makes for bad maps and analysis. This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.

Dependency on Digital Tools

With the advent of digital mapping has come the loss of many traditional mapping skills. While digital tools can make maps, there are some traditional skills that are helpful. You might think that training in digital mapping would include the theory and techniques of traditional mapping processes, but it often doesn't. Today, many who do digital mapping are trained to use only a specific piece of software. Take away that software or introduce a large theoretical ...

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