SO432, Geographical Information Systems

Exam 1, Fall 2009



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, which will be an average answer.

All work on this exam is individual. You may not any materials (books, notes, computers, calculators), and you may not use IM, texting, talking, or any other means to communicate with other individuals.

Definitions: define 10 of the 12 terms with a concise sentence that clearly shows your understanding of the term. A definition copied for the text is a C answer. Each is worth 4 points.


1) Topology:
2) Binary file:
3) ESRI shape file:
4) Metadata:
5) Regional operations:
6) NGA:
7) Quadrangle:
8) World file:
9) Geotiff:
10) Meades Ranch:
11) "Thickness of a line":
12) Georegistered/georeferenced data:

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) The listing above shows some of the CFCC codes used for streets in the United States. Why are there three letters/numbers used, and what is the advantage in the way the codings are assigned?



2. The maps above use two different projections. 


  3.  The diagram below shows a sample of a database which records the landfall of hurricanes along the North Carolina coast:

        Discuss the terms fields/attributes, tuples/records, and relations/tables in relation to the diagram and indicate why it is important for GIS operations.

        Would this snippet of a data base work well for plotting the locations of earthquakes? Why or why not?

        Would this work for analyzing the storm pressure at landfall, and plotting a map to show where the lowest pressures were record, and how the pressure relates to the Saffir/Simpson scale rating for the storm when it came ashore ?











987 mb





973 mb



4) Should you care whether a map uses NAD27 and NAD83? Discuss the difference between the two, and any practical differences between them.




5) Both of the maps above came from a GIS, and both have some shortcomings because of the scale and which they are displayed and at which they were created. What is the fundamental difference between the two data sets, and which one do you think is better?