GEOG 160
Mapping Our Changing World

1.7 Glossary


Abstraction: A simplified representation of an idea, phenomenon, or concept.

Attribute: Data about geographic features are often found in geographic databases and are typically represented in the columns of the database. The spatial dimension is stored as an attribute of geographic data.

Data: Measured values of stored variables that reflect phenomena or characteristics about phenomena.

Directly Measured Data: Data that are measured at the physical location of the phenomena of interest.

Tobler's First Law of Geography: “All things are related, but near things are more alike than distant things.”

Generalization:  The product or process of simplifying data or geographic representations.

Geographic Data: Recorded to represent spatial locations, that is a reference to a location on the Earth; often have associated attributes that are variables of locations across dimensions.

Geographic Information Science (GIScience): The theory, use, and application of geographic information systems and databases to answer spatial questions.

Information: Data that has been selected or created to answer a specific question.

Map Scale: The proportional difference between a distance on a map and a corresponding distance on the ground (Dm / Dg).

Remotely Sensed Data: Data collected from a distance without visiting or physically interacting with the phenomena of interest.

Variable: A property of data, that is, a record of a kind of phenomena.