SO432, Geographical Information Systems

Exam 1, Spring 2017



8 @ 5 points



Short answers

4 @ 5 points




4 @ 10 points









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


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 8 of the 11 terms with a concise sentence or two that clearly shows your understanding of the term.  Each is worth 5 points.


1.      Attribute

2.      Buffering

3.      Database filtering

4.      Field

5.      Integer versus string

6.      Meades ranch

7.      Metadata

8.      NGA

9.      Record

10.  Reproject data

11.  USGS:

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

Short answer, answer all.  Each question is worth 5 points.



1.      Discuss the following data sets.  What data do they contain, and what can you do with that data:


·        NLCD

·        DEM

·        Gazetteer

2.     What kinds of data can you get from the following providers, how can you use it, and what is different between the two:


·        OpenStreetMap




·        Census Bureau Tiger files:





3.      What are the differences and similarities among the following 4 datums, and will you have to worry about them in a military career:


·        WGS84

·        NAD27

·        NAD83

·        Tokyo




4.      These are coordinates of a point near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, the primary base of operations for U.S. Africa Command in the Horn of Africa.

·       N11°32'30.07" E43° 7'40.19"

·       UTM (WGS84)=UTM zone 38  x=295826  y=1276543

·       MGRS (WGS84)=38PKT9582676543


Why do we have multiple ways to express coordinates?

What are these three ways, and who uses them?

The 4 questions with diagrams are worth 10 points each.


1.      You received two data sets, one with 2 files, and one with 16.  Looking at the file listings, what can you say about the two data sets, and what would you expect to be able to do with the two? (IBCAO stands for International Bathymetric Chart Arctic Ocean).


Data set one:


Data set two:



2.     These are two depictions of a simple map of the region around Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, the primary base of operations for U.S. Africa Command in the Horn of Africa.


What interferences can you make about the map’s projection?  Insure that your answer includes:

·        The two sets on lines on both maps.

·        The round overlays on the map on the right.

·        The h and k numbers on the map on the right.






3.     These two maps cover some of the region around Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, the primary base of operations for U.S. Africa Command in the Horn of Africa.  Discuss:

·        The scale of the two maps, and why that matters for GIS operations.

·        The type of data in each, why that makes a difference for GIS operations, and how scale impacts that kind of data.


4.     Your roommate is taking a humanities elective, and is trying to plot population density in Annapolis.  They have managed to open three databases in the GIS program, but cannot get population density to plot.   They do have a map outlining lots of polygons. Looking at the screen capture they show you,


·        Do they have data files that will plot this correctly?  Why or why not?


·        If you volunteered to make them a map, what would you have to tell them to send you, and why?