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Geographic Information Systems. Chapter 4 – Vector Data Input. 4.1 Introduction. The most expensive part of GIS project is database construction. Converting from paper maps to digital maps user to be the first step in constructing a database.
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Geographic Information Systems Chapter 4 – Vector Data Input
4.1 Introduction • The most expensive part of GIS project is database construction. • Converting from paper maps to digital maps user to be the first step in constructing a database. • In recent years this situation has changed as digital data clearinghouses have become commonplace on the internet. • Now the strategy for a GIS user is to look at what exists in the public domain before deciding to create new data.
Cont. • Private companies have also entered the GIS market. • Some of them produce new GIS data for their customers; others produce value-added GIS data from public data. • The proliferation الانتشار of available GIS data has made it easier to organize a GIS project but has not reduced the importance of data input in GIS. • GIS data must still be produced to be put on the Internet or to be sold to customers.
Cont. • GIS users may not find the digital data they want and may have to create their own data. • New GIS data can be created from satellite images, GPS (global positioning system) data, street addresses, or paper maps. • GIS users can also choose manual digitizing or scanning for converting paper maps to digital maps.
Cont. • A newly digitized map has the same measurement unit as the source map used in digitizing or scanning. • To make the digitized map useful in GIS project, it must be converted to real-world coordinates through geometric transformation. • Using a set of control points in geometric transformation of a digitized map makes the process somewhat uncertain. • The root mean square (RMS) error helps determine the quality of transformation.
4.2 existing GIS data • To find existing GIS data for a project is often a matter of knowledge, experience, and luck. • Government agencies at different levels have set up websites for sharing public data and for directing users to the source of the desired. • The Internet is also a medium for finding existing data from nonprofit organizations and private companies. • But searching for GIS data on the Internet can be difficult. • A keyword search with GIS will probably result in thousands of matches, but most hits are irrelevant to the user.
Cont. • Internet addresses may be changed or discontinued. • Data on the Internet may be in a format that is incompatible with the GIS package used for a project, or to be usable for a project, the data may need extensive processing such as clipping the study area from a large data set.
Cont. • Most GIS data on the Internet are data that many organizations regularly use for GIS activities. • These are called framework data, which typically include seven basic layers: geodetic control (accurate positional framework for surveying and mapping), orthoimagery (rectified imagery such as ortho photos), elevation, transportation, hydrography, governmental units, and cadastral information.
4.2.1 Public Data • There are a lot of public data sources like: • Federal Geographic Data Committee. • Geological Survey. • U.S. Census Bureau. • Statewide Public Data. • Regional Public Data. • Metropolitan Public Data
4.2.2 GIS Data from Private Companies • Many GIS companies are engaged in software development, technical service, consulting, and data production. • Some also provide free data or samples of commercial data on the Internet or can direct GIS users to suitable sources. • Maplnfo offers sample data at (http://www.mapinfo.com/free/ index.cfm/. • ESRI Inc. offers the 'Geography Network (http://www.geographynetwork.com/), a clearinghouse with data provided by organizations worldwide that can be accessed directly from ArcMap.
Cont. • Some companies provide specialized GIS data for their customers. • GDI (geographic data technology) offers street, address, postal, and census databases at its website (http://www.geographic. com/). • Tele Atlas North America (http://www. etak.com/) offers road and address databases for urban centers and rural areas. • In contrast, online GIS data stores tend to carry a variety of digital spatial data. • Examples of GIS data stores include GIS Data Depot (http://data.geocomm.com/), Map-Mart (http://www.mapmart.com/), and LAND INFO International (http://www.landinfo.com/).
4.3 metadata • Metadata provide information about spatial data. • They are particularly important to GIS users who want to use public data for their projects. • First, metadata let GIS users know if the data meet their specific needs for area coverage, data quality and data currency. • Second, metadata show GIS users how to transfer, process, and interpret spatial data. • Third, metadata include the contact information for GIS users who need more information.
Cont. • The FGDC (Federal Geographic Data Committee ) has developed the content standards for metadata. • FGDC metadata standards describe a data set based on the following: • Identification information—basic information about the data set, including title, geographic data covered, and currency انتشار.
Cont. • Data quality information—information aboutthe quality of the data set, including positional and attribute accuracy, completeness, consistency, sources of information, and methods used to produce the data. • Spatial data organization information— information about the data representation in the data set such as method for data representation (e.g., raster or vector) and number of spatial objects.
Cont. • Spatial reference information—description of the reference frame for and means of encoding coordinates in the data set such as the parameters for map projections or coordinate systems, horizontal and vertical datums (mathematical model of the Earth, which serves as the reference or base for calculating the geographic coordinates of a location.), and the coordinate system resolution. • Entity and attribute information— information about the content of the data set, such as the entity types and their attributes and the domains from which attribute values may be assigned.
Cont. • Distribution information—information aboutobtaining the data set. • Metadata reference information— information on the currency of the metadata information and the responsible party.
Cont. • FGDC (Federal Geographic Data Committee ) standards do not specify how metadata should be organized in a computer system or in a data transfer, or how metadata should be transmitted to the user. • To assist the entry of metadata, many metadata tools have been developed over the past several years (http://www.fgdc.gov/metadata/metatool.html/) • These tools are typically designed for different operating systems. • Some tools are free and some are designed for specific GIS packages.
Cont. • ESRI Inc. offers a metadata creation tool in ArcCatalog. • Intergraph offers the Spatial Metadata Management System (SMMS) for GeoMedia.
4.4 conversion of existing data • Data conversion, also called data transfer, convertsdata obtained from government or private sources to a format compatible with a GIS package. • Because a large variety of GIS packages and data formats are in use, conversion of existing data can be difficult at times. • The choice of a conversion method basically depends upon the specificity of the data format. • Proprietary data formats require special translators for data conversion, whereas neutral or public formats require a GIS package to have translators that can work with the formats.
4.4.1 Direct Translation • Direct translation uses a translator or algorithm in a GIS package to directly convert spatial data from one format to another (next figure). • Direct translation used to be the only method for data conversion before the development of data standards and open GIS. • GIS users still prefer direct translation because it is easier to use than other methods. • The ArcToolbox application of ArcGIS, for example, can translate Arclnfo's interchange files, MGE and Microstation's DON files, AutoCAD's DXF and DWG files, and Maplnfo files into shapefiles. • Likewise, GeoMedia can access and integrate data from ArcGIS, AutoCAD, MapInfo, MGE, and Microstation.
4.4.2 Neutral Format • A neutral format is a public format for data exchange. • DLG is a familiar neutral format to GIS users. • The USGS provides DLG files, and other government agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) distribute digital soil maps in the DLG format. • This is because most GIS packages have translators to work with the DLG format (next figure).
4.5 Creating new data • This section covers a variety of data sources that can be used to create new digital spatial data.
4.5.1 Remotely Sensed Data • Remotely sensed data such as digital orthophoto quads (DOQs) and satellite images are data acquired by a sensor from a distance. • An aerial photograph and an orthophoto or orthoimage may look alike, but there are several important differences that allow an orthophoto to be used like a map. • A conventional perspective aerial photograph contains image distortions caused by the tilting امالةof the camera. • It does not have a uniform scale.
Cont. • You cannot measure distances on an aerial photograph like you can on a map. • An aerial photo is not a map. • The effects of tilt are removed from the aerial photograph by a mathematical process called rectification. • An orthophoto is a uniform-scale image. • Since an orthophoto has a uniform scale, it is possible to measure directly on it like other maps.
Cont. • Although they are raster data, DOQs and satellite images are useful for vector data input. • DOQs are digitized aerial photographs that have been differentially rectified or corrected to remove image displacements by camera tilt and terrain relief اختلاف التضاريس.
Cont. • Because DOQs combine the image characteristics of a photograph with the geometric qualities of a map, they can be effectively used as a background for digitizing or updating of existing digital maps. • GIS users can process satellite images and extract data for a variety of maps in vector format.
4.5.2 Global Positioning System (GPS) Data • Using satellites in space as reference points, a GPS receiver can determine its precise position on the Earth’s surface. • GPS data include the horizontal location based on the geographic grid or a coordinate system and, if chosen, the elevation of the point location. • When taking GPS positions along a line such as a road, one can determine the line feature by the collection of positional readings. • By extension, polygon can be determined by a series of lines measured by GPS.
Cont. • The method by which a GPS receiver determines its position on the Earth’s surface is similar to triangulation in surviving. • The GPS receiver measures its distance from satellite using the travel time of radio signals it receives from the satellite. • With three satellites simultaneously available, the receiver can determine its position in space (x , y, z), relative to the center of mass of the earth. • But to correct timing errors, a fourth satellite is required to get precise positioning.
Cont. • The receiver’s position in space can then be converted to latitude, longitude and height based on a reference spheroid. • Each satellite follows a special orbit. • At any point on the earth, 5 to 8 satellites are always available.
Cont. • There could be several sources of errors in the GPS reading. • The first type of error maybe described as noise, which can come from different sources. • Although a satellite orbit is precisely defined, it may involve slight position or orbital errors between monitoring times. • Distance between a GPS receiver and a satellite is calculated by multiplying the travel time of a radio signal by the speed of light, but the speed of light is not constant as the signal passes through the outer space and the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface.
Cont. • When it does reach the surface, the signal may bounce off obstructions before reaching the receiver, thus creating a problem called multipath interference. • The second type of error is intentional. • For example, to make sure that no hostile force can bet precise GPS readings, the US military used to degrade their accuracy under the policy called “Selective availability” of “SA” by introducing noise into the satellite’s clock or orbital data.
Cont. • With the aid of a reference or base station, differential correction can be significantly reduce noise errors. • A reference station is located at a point that has been accurately surveyed. • using its known position, the reference receiver can calculate what the travel time of the GPS signals should be. • The difference between the predicted and actual travel times thus becomes an error correction factor.
Cont. • The reference receiver computes error correction factors for all visible satellites. • These correction factors are then available to GPS receivers within about 300 miles (500 kilometers) of the reference station. • GIS applications usually do not need real-time transmission of error correction factors. • Differential correction can be made later as long as records are kept of measured positions and the time each position is measured.
Cont. • Reference stations are operated by private companies and by public agencies such as the U.S coast Guard. • GIS users considering use of differential GPS data should find out their closest reference stations. • Equally important as correcting errors in GPS data is the type of GPS receiver. • Most GIS users use code-based receivers (next figure). • With differential correction, code-based GPS readings can easily achieve the accuracy of 3 to 5 meters, and some newer receivers are even capable of submeter accuracy. • Carrier phase receivers and dual-frequency receivers are mainly used in surveying and geodetic control. • They are capable of subcentimeters differential accuracy.
4.5.3 Survey Data • Survey data consist of distances, angles, and curves. • It uses Coordinate Geometry (a study of geometry by means of algebra, provides the methods for creating digital spatial data of points, lines, and polygons from survey data.
4.5.4 Street Addresses • One can create point features from street addresses in a process called Geocoding. • Address geocoding requires two sets of data: individual street address, and a database that consists of a street map and the range of address numbers along each side of each street segment. • Address geocoding first locates the street segment that contains an address. • It then interpolates where the address falls within the address range.
Cont. • For example, if the address is 620 and the address range from 600 to 640 in the database, address geocoding will locate 620 at the midpoint along the even-number side of the street segment. • The acuuracy of the input data is crucial to the success in geocoding addresses.
4.5.5 Text Files with X-, Y-Coordinates • Digital spatial data can be created from text file that contains x-, y-coordinates. • The x-, y-coordinates can be geographic or projected. • Each pair of x-, y-coordinates us used to create a point. • Therefore, one can create a digital map from a file that records the locations of weather stations, epicenters مركز الزلزال, or a hurricane track مسار الاعصار.
4.5.6 Digitizing Using a Digitizing Table • Digitizing is the process of converting data from analog to digital format. • Manual digitizing uses digitizing table (next figure). • A digiteizing table has a built-in electronic mesh, which can sense the position of the cursor. • To transmit the x-, y-coordinates of a point to the connected computer, the operator simply clicks on a button on the cursor after lining up the cursor’s cross hair with the point.
Cont. • Large-size digitizing tables typically have an absolute accuracy of 0.001 inch. • Many GIS packages have a built in digitizing module for manual digitizing. • Digitizing usually begins with a set of control points, which are later used for converting the digitized map to real-world coordinates. • Digitizing point feature is simple: each point is clicked once to record its location.
Cont. • Digitizing line or area features can follow either point mode or stream mode. • The operator selects points to digitize in point mode. • In stream mode, lines are digitized at a preset time or distance interval. • For example, lines can automatically digitized at a 0.01-inch interval. • Most GIS users prefer point mode because point mode creates a smaller data file than stream mode and is more efficient in digitizing simple line features with straight-line segments.
Cont. • Digitizing line or polygon features can also follow either discrete or continuous mode. • In discrete mode the operator observes the arc-node topological relationship. • Points are digitized as nodes if they are where lines meet or intersect. • In continuous mode, also called spaghetti digitizing, the operator digitizes long, continuous lines and lets the GIS package build the arc-node relationship in processing.
Cont. • Because the vector data model treats a polygon as a series of lines, digitizing polygon features is the same as digitizing line features except that each polygon requires a label (feature ID) in addition to its boundary. • The label is needed to link the polygon with its attribute data. • Although digitizing itself is mostly manual, the quality of digitizing can be improved with planning and checking.
Cont. • An integrated approach is useful in digitizing different map layers of a GIS database that share common boundaries. • For example, soils, vegetation types, and land-use types may share some common boundaries in a study area. • Digitizing these boundaries only once and using them on each of the map layers not only saves time in digitizing but also ensures the matching of the layers.
Cont. • A rule of thumb in digitizing line or polygon features is to digitize each line once and only once to avoid duplicate lines. • Duplicate lines are seldom on top of one another because of the high accuracy of a digitizing table. • In fact, duplicate lines from a series of polygons between them and are difficult to detect and correct in editing.