Examination and Study Questions for GIS Context, Concepts, and Definitions

  1. Essay Questions
  2. Short Answer
  3. Multiple-choice

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1. Essay Questions

Limit each essay to two double-spaced typewritten pages plus references.

  1. Is it reasonable to assume that future developments in GIS technology are likely to eliminate the use of tiles and layers in database organization?

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of employing object-oriented GIS databases as opposed to flat, hierarchical, and relational structures?

  3. If the latest GIS systems can convert vector data into raster form and vice versa, is it now irrelevant to maintain a distinction between vector and raster GIS?

  4. How does the "human factor" enter into GIS development and implementation?

  5. How would you distinguish among GIS, CAD, AM/FM?

  6. What disciplines and applications have had the greatest influence on the development of current GIS technologies?

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2. Short Answer

Limit your answers to no more than 100 words.

  1. What is the difference between classical and fuzzy sets (diagram optional)? How could fuzzy sets be applied to natural or social phenomena analyzed with GIS?

  2. Why does rule-based logic provide computer systems with only limited artificial intelligence? What is an alternative?

  3. Why is it that any networked computer is an insecure computer? What must be done to make a computer totally secure? Name two ways the military secures its digital information?

  4. Why might the United Nations' GRID project serve as a model for the development of international GIS projects?

  5. Concerning international GIS projects, why is availability of necessary data coverage an especially important issue?

  6. List three international environmental issues that could be addressed using GIS?

  7. What lesson can be learned from the failure of the European Community's CORINE project to reach its original goals?

  8. Considering the stages of technological innovation--initiation, contagion, coordination, integration--where would you place GIS in 1996 and why?

  9. Give three reasons why "human" or "organizational" considerations may prove a factor in the success or failure of GIS projects in large commercial and government organizations?

  10. Even with the increasing availability of digital sources, why might one still consider tracing from paper sources for a GIS project?

  11. What does the acronym AM/FM mean? Is it synonymous with GIS?

  12. Give one example of a strategy that could be employed to map linear features symbolizing: a) nominal data; b) ordinal data; c) interaval/ratio data?

  13. What four functions must all GIS include?

  14. Explain why you should never trust default settings in a GIS application?

  15. According to John C.Antenucci et al (1991) in chapter 1 Geographic Information Systems: A Guide to Technology, what are the three issues that are likely to constrain the spread of GIS technology, and why?

  16. CAD is not GIS, but why is the distinction less clear in recent years?

  17. Layer (or levels) are a fundamental means of organizing geographic data in almost all GIS, why?

  18. Why is it useful to view GIS as a process rather than merely software of hardware?

  19. What is the fundamental difference between raster and vector GIS?

  20. According to William E.Huxhold (1991) in Chapter 7 An Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems, what three issues are most critical to the overall success or failure of a GIS project?

  21. List four trends in GIS technology?

  22. Give three reasons the term "GIS" may disappear in the future?

  23. Paper and digital maps are sometimes referred to as "dumb maps." Why are they and what would make them "intelligent?"

  24. Why does selection of a particular GIS always involve compromise?

  25. Describe the differences between raster and vector based GIS?

  26. Explain the difference between attribute and spatial data, give examples.

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3. Multiple-choice questions

Choose the best or most appropriate answer(s) to the question.

  1. Considerable information and data for GIS is available on the Internet, which of the following formats must be transmitted in binary format?

    1. .dxf
    2. .zip files
    3. .gif files
    4. html files
    5. DLGs and DEMs

  2. In the world of GIS, another term for the property of connectivity is:

    1. proximity
    2. neighborhood
    3. topology
    4. boolean identity
    5. location

  3. Which of the following are true of AM/FM systems?

    1. The terms GIS and AM/FM are synonymous.
    2. AM/FM are always vector based.
    3. AM/FM is a specialized GIS.
    4. AM/FM systems are always confined to the utility industry.
    5. The systems use amplitude and frequency modulation.

  4. By definition a GIS must include:

    1. A subsystem for data reporting and product generation
    2. A method for data storage, retrieval, and representation
    3. A method for storing demographic information
    4. A method for scanning maps to produce raster files
    5. Data analysis functions
    6. A means for the input of spatial and non-spatial data

  5. Which of the following statements are true of the history of GIS?

    1. The development of the first true GIS depended upon the invention of the microcomputer in the early 1980s.
    2. Some of the first applications were natural resource inventories.
    3. Public utilities were early users of automated mapping and GIS technologies.
    4. Municipal government agencies have been slow to adopt GIS.

  6. Layers or levels in a GIS can be used to:

    1. Group related geographic features by function
    2. Isolate point, line, and area features
    3. Develop thematic maps
    4. Combine non-spatial and attribute information
    5. Highlight logical relationships among geographic features

  7. Which of the following are types of infrastructure?

    1. An electrical distribution system.
    2. A telephone cable network
    3. US Bureau of Census TIGER maps
    4. Habitat of endangered species
    5. The US Interstate highway system
    6. City zoning classifications
    7. 1, 2, and 5
    8. 1,3,4, and 5

  8. Which of the following are areas of GIS application in commercial industry?

    1. Oil and gas exploration
    2. Dispatch of emergency medical services
    3. Timber and lumber production
    4. Direct marketing and retailing
    5. Managing telecommunication networks
    6. Monitoring wetland habitats

  9. Which of the following are true of GIS?

    1. The terms GIS and AM are synonymous
    2. AM/FM is a specialized GIS
    3. GIS produce better maps than AM systems
    4. GIS and CAD are synonymous
    5. Tabular data can be both and input and output of GIS
    6. Aerial photographs are preferred to satellite images in creating GIS.

  10. Which of the following are true?

    1. Digitizing is defined as converting aerial photographs into maps
    2. Digitizing involves tracing map features into a computer
    3. A keyboard cannot be used to digitize maps, only to enter attribute information
    4. Digitizing from a tablet involves using a template
    5. A digitizing tablet and mouse are examples of input devices used in digitizing


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Created on 22 Dec 95. Revised on 5 February 2000. LNC