SO432, Geographical Information Systems

Exam 1, Fall 2015



10@ 4 points



Short answers

 5 @ 12 points









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


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 the most important part of the answer.


You have choices for both parts of the exam. 


Authorized reference:

1.         You may use one 3”x 5” card, personally hand written on both sides, during the exam.  You will turn it in with the exam.

2.         Calculators will not be allowed.  For the calculations, you may set it up and leave the answer in terms of a sum, product, or quotient, or you can make reason simplifications to get a rough idea of the answer.


All work on this exam is individual.  You may not any materials (books, notes, computers, calculators) other than your 3x5 card, and you may not use IM, texting, talking, or any other means to communicate with other individuals.


Definitions:  define 10 of the 13 terms with a concise sentence that clearly shows your understanding of the term.  Each is worth 4 points.


1.     Database filtering

2.     DEM

3.     Gazetteer

4.     Integer versus floating point

5.     Small scale map

6.     Meades ranch

7.     NGA

8.     USGS:

9.     UTM zone:

10.  WGS84

11.  Field

12.  Attribute

13.  Record


Insure you left 3 terms blank.  No extra credit for answering more than 10.


The next six pages contain 6 questions, each of which is worth 10 points.  You can answer on the page or on the back of one of the pages. You must answer all 6.  For each answer you should clearly show that you understand the principles and use appropriate terminology.



I downloaded a DEM, and got all these files. 

·      What is a DEM, and what does it provide?

·      Is this vector or raster data, and which file(s) contain the actual data?  How many files must I send someone so they can display this data?

·      What do the files with “meta1” and “metadata” in the name contain, and would it be worthwhile to look to at them?

·      What is in the file with the “SHP” extension?  Is there anything tricky about the file if you want to send it to someone?






Could the three maps above show the same projection?  Why or why not?  Insure that you say as much as you can about the projection(s) used by the three maps.




What do the polygonal regions on the map represent?  Do they help you determine the projection(s) of the map and the pattern of distortion?




What are the “round” features on the map, and what do they tell us?


Do these two maps share any important characteristics?


 What is the major difference between the two maps?



Would either of these maps be useful for military operations?  Why or why not?




The map of Korea above has a series of lines overlaid (in different color and line thickness). 


What are the two different sets of lines, and how could you tell?


From the orientation of the lines, what can you infer about the projection of the map?


 Is there a practical reason map users must be aware of this issue?





Do any of the maps on the previous three pages  (repeated above) display raster data?  Which, and if so, explain the characteristics of raster data.







Do any of the maps on the previous three pages (repeated above) display vector data?   Which, and if so, explain the characteristics of vector data.


N38°37'26.41" E127°20'59.37"

zone 52  N, x=356351  y=4276345



The three lines above are different ways of providing coordinates.




What is the difference between the three, and who uses them?








Could these three all refer to the same spot on the ground?  Why or why not?