USES OF MAPS:
- Maps have been used since time immemorial for navigation and military purposes.
- Maps are used to organise geographic data.
- Ex: Topography,
- Natural resources (thematic maps contain information about a specific theme - geology, soils, roads, ecology, hydrology, etc)
- Political (Abstract boundaries for public, private, national and international levels)
- Information types - Qualitative (Ex: land use classes) and Quantitative (Ex: depth to bedrock)
- Map types - Choropleth (areas of equal area separated by boundaries (landuse)) and isolines (or contours)
LIMITATIONS OF PAPER MAPS:
- Maps have to be genaralised to make them readable. Important details may be lost for site specific analysis.
- Small scale maps representing large areas must be represented on a large number of map sheets making viewing and analysis difficult
- Data retrieval is difficult
- Printed maps are ""static
- Combining different thematic maps for land suitability or spatial analysis is very difficult
- Map updation is a tedious process
- New technologies for gathering information are better accommodated in digital systems
- Complexity of urban and natural resource problems increases the need for sophisticated analysis techniques.
- With the availability of low cost digital computers and greater access to data, the shortcomings of paper maps can be overcome easily using a digital GIS.