SO432, Geographical Information Systems

Exam 2, Fall 2012






Definitions (pick 10/12)




Short answer (no choice)




Longer answer (pick ¾)









Read directions carefully.  You have a selection of questions for the first two parts of the exam.  Carefully select which questions you will answer, and only answer the correct number.

Quality of your answers is important.   For full credit you should use correct terminology, and show that you understand the concepts involved.

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


Today's electoral college map


Definitions:  define 10 of these 12 terms with a concise sentence that clearly shows your understanding of the term, and not just that you can find the term in the index or glossary of the text:  Each is worth two points.


  1. Unregistered image:
  2. Triangulation:
  3. Affine transformation:
  4. Quadrangle: See new help file page; parallels and meridians
  5. WMS:
  6. Focal operation:
  7. USGS Seamless Server:
  8. Address geocoding (two directions):
  9. Meades Ranch
  10. Shapefile:
  11. Integer versus string:
  12. Filter a database:

Short answer questions.  Answer all 5 at 5 points each.

1.  What are the differences between a KML and a KMZ file, and which is preferable for dissemination of a GIS project?  How can you evaluate whether the file you are distributing is complete?



2.  Is there an objective way to define the best districts for government representatives?  Why or why not?  Does GIS help or hinder the process?


3.  Are there different ways to create a grid?  Briefly discuss.


 4.  How can the computer compute slope, aspect, and reflectance?  Are these geometrically related?


5.  When you digitize on screen, discuss two factors that determine the accuracy with which you can records points and lines.



Long answer questions.  Answer  3 of 4 for 15 points each.

The two code extracts below provide ways to obtain maps from the web.  Discuss the difference between the two, and how they differ from downloading a data set from a site like the USGS Seamless Server.  What are the pros and cons of downloading data from the different methods?


Method A.


<html><head><title>BSR Preview--USGS DOQQ</title></head>

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">


<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>

<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>

<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>



<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>

<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>

<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>



<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>

<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>

<td><img src = "" border = "0"></td>



USGS DOQQ image centered on N44.3815522° W121.604044°

<br><br><i>Image courtesy USGS and MSR</i>

<br>Located by MICRODEM   Pixel size: 8 m<br><br>

 <table border="2" bgcolor="#008080"> <tr><td><a href=""><font color="#FFFFFF" face="Verdana"><strong>MSR</strong></font></a></td></tr></table>



Method B.,36.1763161655581,-75.7486369793441,36.1848154690609&LAYERS=NC_DareCounty_0.25ft_Color_Mar_2007&CRS=CRS:84&FORMAT=image/jpeg&STYLES=&WIDTH=978&HEIGHT=950


You have two LIDAR surveys of Seaside Heights, NJ, before and after Hurricane, each of which is a grid.  How could you use that data to plan disaster recovery operations.  Discuss the steps you would take with the data, and what maps you would create and what they would show.












You found the map on the first page of the exam on the internet, and it will be perfect for a discussion you will have with your plebes tonight to discuss the results of the election.  You would like to use this map as a GIS base map.  What will you have to do to use the image (it is a JPEG, and you have no metadata), and how hard do you think this would be to do?  How would this compare to the World War II map you did in lab?






After you changed the data so your GIS would open it, would you be able to click on a state and get the number of electoral votes, or find all the states with more than 10 electoral votes?  How, or why not?









If you found that the same web site also had the same data as an ESRI shape file, would getting just the SHP file be a better or worse choice?  Why or why not?







If you found the data in an Excel spreadsheet with the State Name, a FIPS code, and the number of electoral votes, would that be usable to create a map like this?





Which provides better options for smart, interactive display of a database of the graves in a military cemetery, Google Earth or a GIS program?   Discuss this in terms of a database with the following fields, and thousands of records, and what you can do with the database in each program to get the following:


Fields in the database: