# Introduction

Maps and mapping are essential components of any geographic information system (GIS). For instance, maps constitute both the input and output of a GIS. Hence a GIS utilizes many concepts and themes from cartography, the formal study of maps and mapping. Therefore, we need to learn more about **cartography**, maps, and mapping to become proficient with GIS. The first part of this chapter defines a map and describes a few key map types. Next, cartographic or mapping conventions are discussed, emphasizing map scale, coordinate systems, and map projections. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the process of map abstraction as it relates to GISs. This chapter provides the foundations for working with, integrating, and making maps with GIS.

# Learning Outcomes

- Define a map and describe reference, thematic, and dynamic maps.
- Describe the concepts of map scale, coordinate systems, and map projections.
- Explain why they are central to maps, mapping, and geographic information systems.
- Highlight the decision-making process behind maps and underscore the need to be explicit and consistent when mapping and using geographic information systems.

## Geospatial Technology Competencies

- Discuss the roles of several geometric approximations of the earth’s shape, such as geoids, ellipsoids, and spheres.
- Describe characteristics and appropriate uses of common geospatial coordinate systems, such as geographic (latitude and longitude), UTMs, State Plane Coordinates, and more.
- Explain the relationship of horizontal datums, such as the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) or the World Geodetic System of 1984 (WGS 84), to coordinate system grids and geometric approximations of the earth’s shape.
- Describe characteristics and approximate uses of common map projections, such as Transverse Mercator, Lambert Conformal Conic, Albers Conic Equal Area, Azimuthal Equidistant, and Polar Stereographic.

**Source**: Geospatial Technology Industry Competency Model

# Chapter Sections

- 2.1 Fundamentals of Maps
- 2.2 Datums, Coordinate Systems, and Map Projections
- 2.3 Representing Geographic Features
- 2.4 Review
- 2.5 Creative Commons Attributions and References

Click the “**Previous**” button on the lower left or the ‘**Next**” button on the lower right to navigate throughout the textbook.