SO432, Geographical Information Systems

Exam 1, Fall 2007



10@ 4 points



Short answers

 5 @ 12 points








This is an open book exam.  You may use your personal copy of the text book and any notes you have permanently written in it.  You may not attach any papers to the book, but you can tab the book.


Read the directions carefully.  You have a selection of questions for the definitions and the short answers.

Quality of your answers is important.   For full credit you should use correct terminology, and show that you understand the concepts involved.  Demonstration of understanding, and placing you answer in the context of GIS, is much more important than finding a random sentence from the book describing or defining the term.



Definitions:  define 10 of the 12 terms with a concise sentence that clearly shows your understanding of the term:  Each is worth 4 points.


1)      ESRI shape file:

2)      Orthometric height:

3)      Flattening:

4)      Lossy compression:

5)      Topology:

6)      MLLW:

7)      Neighborhood operations:

8)      NGA:

9)      Ellipsoid:

10)  Quadrangle:

11)  World file:

12)  Inverse projection:

 The next five pages contain 5 questions, each of which is worth 12 points.  You can answer on the page or on the back of one of the pages. You must answer all 5.   For each answer you should clearly show that you understand the principles and use appropriate terminology.

1)  Could a map use both NAD 1983 and NAVD 1988.

o       Why or why not? (Or what is the difference between the two?)

o       How would these relate to NAD 1927 and WGS 1984?




2)  Discuss the terms fields/attributes, tuples/records, and relations/tables in relation to the following diagram and indicate why it is important for GIS operations.  Would this snippet of a data base work well for finding “SIZE”?  Why or why not?















64 cm





 3)  Why are metadata and standards import for GIS work?







4)    The diagram above shows a map projection covering much of the central US.


o       Explain the purpose of the markings on the map above, and what they tell you about the map projection used in the map. 

o       Where does this projection have the least distortion, and how can you tell? 

o       Could the military use this map for operations?  Why or why not? 

o       Can you suggest what projection this is?



5)  What are the differences between these two maps, both of which came out of a GIS?  How is the concept of scale applied to each, and what happens to each as you blow them up?