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PubTalk 11/2004 — From Plane Tables to Pixels

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Detailed Description

The Revolution in Mapping at the U.S. Geological Survey

by Susan P. Benjamin, Research Geographer

  • Mapping the United States in the 19th century was arduous, dangerous work; flash floods, bears, and bandits were just a few hazards
  • By the mid-20th century, aerial photography, photogrammetry, and stereophoto pairs, allowed technicians to map land-elevation contours without fifi eld visits
  • The "art" of cartography has evolved from hand scribing to computer digitization and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Satellite, airborne, and other remote-sensing technologies have greatly improved the acquisition of map data
  • The Internet has revolutionized map availability--many maps are now available on-line; some are customizable from your computer




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