From memory, draw a map of the Bay Area including a star for your house on the blank sheet of paper.
Compare the mental maps to the standard maps.
What features are displayed on each map and why? What else could be included?
Which areas of your map are the most accurately portrayed? Which landforms are the least accurate or distorted? Why?
Distance Decay: 'the attenuation of a phenomenon over distance.' e.g. earshot, signal reception, details on mental maps.
'Our immediate neighborhood we know rather intimately. But with increasing distance our knowledge fades . . . Until at the last dim horizon we search among ghostly errors of observations for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial.' (Edwin Hubble)
The first law of geography:
'Everything is connected to everything else, but near things are more related than are distant things'
Maps can be seen as diagrams showing the evolution of our collective thought about a particular spatial domain, and as archival images documenting states of knowledge.
Whatever its scale, a map serves the geographer much like a microscope serves a biologist, albeit through reduction and not enlargement.
Maps are abstractions, scale-models of reality.
All maps are abstractions and simplifications of the real world. Certain real-world phenomena are selected by the cartographer, represented by symbols on the map, and presented to the map reader who interprets the map and learns something about the selected phenomena in their geographic setting . . . It is important . . . to recognize the perceptual limitations that are common to all map readers, and to design the map to accommodate those limitations.
(Thematic Maps, Their Design and Production (1982) David Cuff & Mark Mattson London: Methuen & Company)
Maps are just visual compositions.
Draw a map showing how to get to your favorite location. Then, on the back, write out directions for how to get to that place from campus. What kinds of information were necessary to complete this assignment? Imagine all the kinds information stored in an online map and directions generator such as yahoo maps ( a form of GIS).
e.g. road segment lengths, lanes, road names, intersection relationships, addresses, one way streets, speed limits, exit sign text, etc.
What's the difference between a map and a GIS?
A map is 'a graphic representation of the milieu'
1976: The Nature of Maps by Arthur Robinson and Barbara Petchenik
A GIS system is structured geographic information in an electronic database which may or may not generate a graphic display or map.
Definitions of GIS:
'GISs are simultaneously the telescope, the microscope, the computer, and the Xerox machine of regional analysis and synthesis of spatial data' (Ron Abler, 1988)
'a powerful set of tools for storing and retrieving at will, transforming and displaying spatial data from the real world for a particular set of purposes' (Peter Burrough, 1986)
'automated systems for the capture, storage, retrieval, analysis, and display of spatial data' (Clarke, 1995)
'organized activity by which people measure and represent geographic phenomena then transform these representations into other forms while interacting with social structures.' (Nick Chrisman, 1999)
Abler, Ron (1988) "Awards, Rewards and Excellence: Keeping Geography Alive and Well" Professional Geographer vol.40 pp.135-40
Burrough, Peter (1986) Principles of GIS for Land Resources and Assessment Oxford: Clarendon Press
Clarke (1995) Analytical and Computer Cartography Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
Clarke (2001) Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
Chrisman, Nick (1999) Exploring Geographic Information Systems New York: Wiley
Cuff, David & Mark Mattson (1982) Thematic Maps, Their Design and Production London: Methuen & Company
Dueker (1979) "Land Resource Information Systems: a Review of Fifteen Years' Experience" Geo-processing vol.1 no.2 pp.105-128
Hall, Stephen S. (1992) "Latitude, Longitude, and Infinitude: Scientific Mapping and the Reinvention of Geography" Mapping the Next Millennium Random House, New York: 3-28
Robinson, Arthur and Barbara Petchenik (1976) The Nature of Maps
Starr and Estes (1990) Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall