Publication Date

12-2009

Committee Chair

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.

Committee Members

R. Maxwell Baber, Ph.D.

Abstract

Maps created in geographic information systems (GIS) are rendered with precisely defined features, but experienced GIS practitioners recognize that spatial data have relative error that is not always apparent to map readers. Limited awareness among many users regarding data error leads users to view and analyze data without regard for relative uncertainty. Tools and methods supporting map designer abilities to graphically communicate uncertainty associated with spatial data have not been readily available.

There exists a need for users to display quantifiable characteristics of relative uncertainty associated with spatial data affected via cartographic representation. Development for this project synthesized prominent research recommendations to provide map designers’ with methods for conveying data uncertainty with scientifically tested symbolization within the ArcGIS software. The ultimate goal of this development project is to increase map designers efficiency in illustrating data uncertainty, and stimulate conversation about GIS tools for representing this uncertainty to a wider audience.

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