GEOG 482
The Nature of Geographic Information

1. Overview

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Chapters 6 and 7 consider the origins and characteristics of the framework data themes that make up the United States' proposed National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The seven themes include geodetic control, orthoimagery, elevation, transportation, hydrography, government units (administrative boundaries), and cadastral (property boundaries). Most framework data, like the printed topographic maps that preceded them, are derived directly or indirectly from aerial imagery. Chapter 6 introduces the field of photogrammetry, which is concerned with the production of geographic data from aerial imagery. The chapter begins by considering the nature and status of the U.S. NSDI in comparison with other national mapping programs. It considers the origins and characteristics of the geodetic control and orthoimagery themes. The remaining five themes are the subject of Chapter 7.

Objectives

Students who successfully complete Chapter 6 should be able to:

  1. Explain how the distribution of authority for mapping and land title registration among various levels of government affects the availability of framework data;
  2. Describe how topographic data are compiled from aerial imagery;
  3. Explain the difference between a vertical aerial photograph and an orthoimage;
  4. List and describe characteristics and status of the USGS National Map; and
  5. Discuss the relationship between the National Map and the NSDI framework.

Comments and Questions

Registered students are welcome to post comments, questions, and replies to questions about the text. Particularly welcome are anecdotes that relate the chapter text to your personal or professional experience. There are discussion forums available in the Canvas course management system for comments and questions.

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Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Online Geospatial Education programs is available at the Geospatial Education Program Office.