Error, Accuracy, and Precision

These materials may be used for study, research, and education, but please credit the authors and source: Kenneth E. Foote and Donald J. Huebner, The Geographer's Craft Project, Department of Geography, University of Texas at Austin. All commercial rights reserved. Copyright 1995 Kenneth E. Foote and Donald J. Huebner. To make suggestions and corrections please contact

Table of Contents

1. The Importance of Error, Accuracy, and Precision

2. Some Basic Definitions

3. Types of Error

4. Sources of Inaccuracy and Imprecision

5. The Problems of Propagation and Cascading

6. Beware of False Precision and False Accuracy

7. The Dangers of Undocumented Data

8. Principles of Managing Error

9. Required Readings

10. References and Further Readings

11. Examination and Study Questions

Last revised on 2014.9.11. KEF