A Better Mouse Trap for Making and Using Maps
Maps are a convenient way for people to use spatial data.
- Mappers design and create many kinds of maps to show spatial data.
- People in various disciplines use spatial data for many purposes.
Maps are flat and portray 2-dimensional data superbly well.
- People live in 3-dimensional space on/near a spherical earth.
- Map projections provide a way to show a curved earth on a flat map.
- Distances are distorted, especially with conformal projections.
- Multiple projections are needed to cover a large area accurately.
New technology has revolutionized many aspects of map making.
- Manual processes have been computerized. Productivity has soared.
- Many maps are referenced to geographical latitude/longitude (2-D).
- Topographic maps include contour lines to show elevations (3-D).
- Many mapping equations (mathematical models) are quite complex.
- Horizontal and vertical spatial data are handled separately.
- Computers have been programmed to do the work.
- Modern systems such as GPS receivers, photogrammetric mapping,
and surveying "total stations" collect spatial data in 3 dimensions.
- Many disciplines use Geographic Information System (GIS) tools.
A new 3-dimensional Global Spatial Data Model (GSDM) which exploits
modern technology is available and is better because it:
- Accommodates all forms of 3-D spatial data measurement.
- Does not distort distances as does a 2-D conformal map projection.
- Uses one set of standard solid geometry equations world-wide.
- Handles horizontal and vertical data in the same 3-D data base.
- Provides a way to obtain standard deviations for all spatial data.
- Is equally applicable for very precise applications as for others.
- Permits GIS and other computer intensive spatial data computations to
be accomplished more efficiently; critical in a dynamic environment.
With a modest investment, spatial data users can begin realizing
these benefits utilizing existing staff, technology, and resources.
Software for performing 3-D computations is called
Read more about the rigorous definition of the GSDM.
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