When learning about GIS and online mapping, you'll notice a lot of jargon being used. This glossary is intended to help define some of the terms frequently used on this site.
All of these definitions, unless otherwise noted, were adapted from the terms' respective entries on Wikipedia.
Geocoding is the process of finding associated geographic coordinates (often expressed as latitude and longitude) from other geographic data, such as street addresses or postal codes. Reverse geocoding is the process of determining the closest street address based on geographic coordinates.
|geographic information system||
A geographic information system (GIS), or geographical information system, captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that is linked to location. Technically, GIS is geographic information systems which includes mapping software... and tools that can be implemented with GIS software. In a more generic sense, GIS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries (user created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations.
Geospatial is a term widely used to describe the combination of spatial software and analytical methods with terrestrial or geographic datasets. The term is often used in conjunction with geographic information systems.
Latitude gives the location of a place on Earth north or south of the equator, usually measured in degrees. When looking at a map, lines of latitude are horizontal. The Equator is the line of latitude measured as 0°; the North Pole is measured at 90° North and the South Pole at 90° South. Mnemonic: lines of lAtitude go Around the world. lines of lOngitude go Over the world.
Longitude gives the location of a place on Earth east or west of the Prime Meridian, usually measured in degrees. When looking at a map, lines of longitude are vertical. The Prime Meridian (which runs north-south through Greenwich, England, UK) is measured as 0° of longitude. Longitude numbers increase from 0° to 180° westward across the Atlantic and the Americas; they increase from 0° to 180° eastward across Europe, Africa, and Asia. Mnemonic: lines of lAtitude go Around the world. lines of lOngitude go Over the world.
A map is a visual representation of an areaa symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes.
Neogeography literally means "new geography", and is commonly applied to the usage of geographical techniques and tools used for personal and community activities or for utilization by a non-expert group of users. Application domains of neogeography are typically not formal or analytical.
|public participation GIS||
PPGIS is meant to bring the academic practices of GIS and mapping to the local level in order to promote knowledge production. The idea behind PPGIS is empowerment and inclusion of marginalized populations, who have little voice in the public arena, through geographic technology education and participation. PPGIS uses and produces digital maps, satellite imagery, sketch maps, and many other spatial and visual tools, to change geographic involvement and awareness on a local level.
A thematic map is a simple map made to reflect a particular theme about a geographic area. Thematic maps can portray physical, social, political, cultural, economic, sociological, agricultural, or any other aspects of a city, state, region, nation, or continent.