Resource Mapping

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Please go through the Chapter 1 "Maps, Map Projections and Reading Maps", this will prepare you for this coming Monday's Lecture.


One of the biggest problems in geography is the issue of representing something that is spherical onto a flat piece of paper or computer screen. Not matter what you do - you will introduce distortions, either in the shape that objects are rendered, their distance to each other, their area or direction. For navigation purposes you will need to have accurate distance and direction rather than accurate representation of shape or area. In order to overcome this problem we have projections, which are essentially mathematical formula to contain distortions and to select which type of accuracy is needed. You will be using a simple Java Applet which interactively changes the projection of the World. To help guide you, each continent has been rendered in a different colour and we have squares in alternating shades of Grey. My examing the squares and noting their distortion in shape and their alignment to each other you can deduce what parameters are getting distorted with the various projections.


Examine how different projections distort the representation of the Earth's surface.


Gain an understanding of how projections work.

Know which projection system is most suitable to which application.


Spatial awareness of the errors implicit in every map printed on or on your computer screen.


Using the Java Applet located at

Prepare 10 projections and describe what variables you used (Projection, Map centre, East angle, North Angle and Direction). In addition describe how the projection has been distorted with respect to distance, area, shape and direction. Use the Squares to see how these parameters have been distorted. Please provided some references to guide your interpretation of the project and its implicit errors.

In order to make images of the project, you will need to use Windows Print Screen button (its marked on your keyboard in the top right area). This willcopy the entire screen into your Window Clipboard. Now open your graphic program, e.g. Windows Paint and simply paste your Clipboard image (keystrokes CTRL V)into the program. You will now need to clip the area of interest which should only be your World Map and the selected options for projection above. The select marquee in Window Paint will allow you to draw a box of the intended new image, cutting out the rest of the screen capture. Once the area is select you can copy this (CTRL C) and the insert the cropped image into your report with a comprehensive caption below the screen capture.

Print a hard copy and hand in directly to Richard Knight PLUS UPLOAD the document via ftp to the following directory

Document name: Initial_Surname_GIS_2007_assignment_2


Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Caption goes here



It has been more than a couple of years now, since Google launched its Google Maps Web Map Service and the downloadable Google Earth application. With this Google also launched the ability to build your own APIs - Application Program Interfaces. An API is a set of routines provided in libraries that extends the programs functionality.


Use Google Earth to navigate high resolution spatial imagery in both two and three dimensions.


  • Capture Google images.

  • Make and store place marks (so you can recall the geographical position).

  • Save Google positional data as *KMZ files.

  • Convert spatial data that is in Degrees, Minutes and Seconds into Decimal Degrees.

  • Embed HTML code into your posting to extract another map service called OGC so that you can put interactive Maps onto the Blog.

  • Develop basic HTML skills.


Spatial awareness and the ability to use and present spatial information using modern technology.


For this exercise you will be using Goggle Earth (you can get the free version from this link)

Identify and describe 10 linked global locations. For each location capture four images at different viewing angles, perspective or locations within the area. The theme of you "World Tour" could be stopover points while undertaking the "Amazing Race", or Formula 1 GP circuits. It need not be biological, but should be interestig and have a near-global coverage.

Prepare a report briefly paying attention to the following:

Desription of your overall theme for the Global tour (500 words).

A brief introduction (description with references, or your observations)for each of the 10 spots you have visited following a heading typed in CAPITALS which also gives place and country. This is followed by the four images captured from Google Earth and saved as a *.jpg file. For EACH image provide a heading in NORMAL TEXT and a caption beneath each image. In the caption you should specify the place, the direction you are looking at it, the width (metres or kilometres) and the co-ordinates in decimal degrees. It is important that the location is provided in Decimal Degrees since this is one way that somebody can re-visit your site. Typing in Decimal Degrees in the Google Earth Search will bring up the scene.

Your report should be in Word format. Using the prepared template downloadable you will have some pre-set styles, which I will show you how to apply in class.

Your report should have the following structure

Introduction to your Google World Tour Theme (Heading in CAPS)

Geographical Spot 1 (Heading in CAPS)
Introduction with some references.

Place Name (Bolded)
Caption (including place, viewing angle, and co-ordinates in Decimal Degrees)

Geographical Spot 2 (Heading in CAPS)
Introduction with some references.

Place Name (Bolded)
Brief Description and any references

Continue until you have done 10 Geographical Spots.

Submitting your Assignment

Your completed Word document should be named as follows


You will then upload the file via ftp to the following directory

Submitting a posting on the Web

In order to share some of what you have learnt you will put Images of the general area of each of your 10 sites up on this courseware Blog. To do this you will need to define your Boundary Box co-ordinates e.g. the following instruction BBox= -10,35,5,45 will define the bottom left corner with 100W, 350N and the top right corner 50E, 450N. You will need to copy the code from my posting on OGC Map Services.

  • You will need to remove any spaces in the URLs for the code to work (I had to put a space in some urls to force a wrap around to fit in the main blog window).
  • You can change which part of the world you are viewing by changing the parameters in the Boundary Box ~ BBox=-80,-90,80,90.
  • The above parameters will produce a map from the South Pole to the North Pole and from 800E to 800W.
  • Remember a negative Latitude occurs in the southern hemisphere, and a negative Longitude occurs west of Greenwich. Using a width of 440 will fill Blogger's main frame.
  • It would be best to copy and paste this code into Notepad to ensure that no formatting has been copied and then examine each URL to remove spaces and finally you can modify your map size and Boundary Box parameters to suit your site and intended map view.
  • I used Microsoft Frontpage to test that my co-ordinates are correct and then I simply inserted these co-ordinates into the working code on the Blog page - which has to be done at all three places.

You can copy the rest of the text from your assignment, e.g. the introduction to make your posting more interesting.

Good Luck