Monday, April 16, 2007

Cartography -

Cartography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Cartography or mapmaking (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making maps or globes. Maps have traditionally been made using pen and paper, but the advent and spread of computers have revolutionized cartography. Most commercial-quality maps are now made with map-making software that falls into one of three main types; CAD, GIS, and specialized map illustration software.

Maps function as visualization tools for spatial data. Spatial data is acquired from measurement and can be stored in a database, from which it can be extracted for a variety of purposes. Current trends in this field are moving away from analog methods of mapmaking and toward the creation of increasingly dynamic, interactive maps that can be manipulated digitally.

The cartographic process rests on the premise that the world is measurable and that we can make reliable representations or models of that reality. Mapmaking involves advanced skills and attitudes, particularly the use of symbols to represent certain geographic phenomena, as well as the ability to visualize the world in an abstract and scaled-down form."

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