About Graphical Information Systems (GIS)

Precision of GIS used by other GPS companies and phone apps to create their maps.

Below are references from third parties.


Until quite recently, people involved in developing and using GIS paid little attention to the problems caused by error, inaccuracy, and imprecision in spatial datasets. Certainly there was an awareness that all data suffers from inaccuracy and imprecision, but the effects on GIS problems and solutions was not considered in great detail. Major introductions to the field such as C. Dana Tomlin's Geographic Information Systems and Cartographic Modeling (1990), Jeffrey Star and John Estes's Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction (1990), and Keith Clarke's Analytical and Computer Cartography (1990) barely mention the issue.


This situation has changed substantially in recent years. It is now generally recognized that error, inaccuracy, and imprecision can "make or break" many types of GIS projects. That is, errors left unchecked can make the results of a GIS analysis almost worthless.


The irony is that the problem of error devolves from one of greatest strengths of GIS. GIS gain much of their power from being able to collate and cross-reference many types of data by location. They are particularly useful because they can integrate many discrete datasets within a single system. Unfortunately, every time a new dataset is imported, the GIS also inherit its errors. These may combine and mix with the errors already in the database in unpredictable ways.


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