GEOG 469
Energy Industry Applications of GIS

Lesson 7 - Understanding GIS Error, Accuracy, and Precision, and Metadata


An Overview of Lesson 7

The error, accuracy, and precision of the GIS data we use in projects is often overlooked when we download data from various government, open source, and commercial sources. Metadata is data about data. We'll explore this topics in more detail in this lesson.

Screen capture from the National Atlas Web
Figure 7.1: Screen capture showing metadata from the National Atlas website

What will we learn in Lesson 7?

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • explain the requirements for meeting horizontal accuracy;
  • describe the accuracy standards for different horizontal scales;
  • identify sources of imprecision and error; and
  • find and evaluate metadata.

What is due for Lesson 7?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignments below can be found within this lesson.

  • Lesson 7 Quiz
  • Metadata Activity
  • Download the file titled "" from Canvas to your Desktop.


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.