Digital Maps

What Is a Digital Map?

Most people are familiar with paper roadmaps. How are digital maps different and why are they so much more powerful? Paper roadmaps, and in fact all paper maps, have a major limitation in that the spatial “database” is the drawing on the paper. This imposes inherent limitations on the building and use of the map data. First, the amount of data you are able to capture on the map is severely limited by what can be clearly drawn and understood from the map. Second, the paper map is a static snapshot. It is not possible to change the map scale or easily update the map with new information. Finally, it is quite difficult to do quantitative spatial analysis with a paper map, such as calculating the fastest route ...

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