SO432, Geographical Information Systems

Exam 1, Fall 2011


10@ 4 points


Short answers

5 @ 12 points





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

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. For 5 of the terms, indicate one of the short answer questions for which the term should be included in your answer. Each is worth 4 points.

  1. Bounding Box: Q2

  2. Conformal: Q3

  3. ESRI shapefile: vector data, actually 3 files, de facto industry standard.   Q1 and Q2

  4. Geotiff: raster data, single file, de facto industry standard.   Q1

  5. Indicatrix:  4/8 skips.  Q3

  6. Integer/versus float:

  7. Meades Ranch: Q4

  8. Metadata: Q1

  9. NGA:  map and image and GIS support to US military; created WGS84.  Q4

  10. Reproject data: 5/8 skips

  11. Small scale map: large area, limited detail.  Q3

  12. UTM: Universal Transverse Mercator, which is conformal and good for large scale maps used by military ground forces

The next four 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. I downloaded a NED file from the USGS Seamless Server. When I looked at what I had, I noticed the following files. What are the files, and do I have all that I need to display the NED I wanted to get?

NED is raster DEM data, and the GeoTIFF file is all that a GIS program needs to display it.  You have two metadata files in xml and HTML format, and the three files of a shapefile with graphical metadata.



2. One of your classmates sent me two DBF files that s/he was trying to use to create a map showing the male to female ratio in Anne Arundel County.

a. Will this be possible with these two files? Why or why not?

link/join, using GEOID2 and GEOID10.  These have to have the same values, but the field names do not have to be the same

b. What steps would have to be gone through to get this to work.


c. What is in the fields LAT_HI , LONG_HI, LAT_LOW, and LONG_LOW?  Bounding box

3. The map above uses the projection of M. Cassini, with overlays inspired by M. Tissot. What can you say about this projection, and would be it a good choice for a sailboat trip across the Atlantic?


BCassini projection is neither conformal nor equal area, and for sailing navigation you want a conformal projection like Mercator.


4. Is NAD83 closer to NAD27 or WGS84? Why does this matter?



5. What useful data can you get from the following, and are they raster or vector data: