For the most part, we find our way around the planet by tapping memory, perhaps by recalling past routes, or sometimes by accessing stored mental images that approximate maps. In other cases, however, we must rely on information collected and made available to us by others. People visiting strange cities need street maps to help them find their way around; planners need maps of wetlands and other constraints on development; pilots need air navigation charts; children need atlases and globes to learn about the Earth’s almost infinite variety; and emergency responders need maps to plan systematic recovery efforts. Geographic information, whether in the form of maps, images, driving directions, or guidebooks is increasingly essential to many aspects of human existence.
As with many other forms of information, the process of acquiring, compiling, printing, and disseminating geographic information has been expensive. A topographic map costs the U.S. Geological Survey approximately $100,000...
KeywordsGeographic Information Soil Mapping Scale Economy Spatial Data Infrastructure Framework Data
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