A computer is an automated electronic device we need in our day-to-day operations. With continuous technological improvement, computer use has gradually increased and has found its way into several fields. In cartography, for example, the use of computers has positively impacted the operations of cartographers. In this article, we shall discuss the applications of computers in the cartography field.
1. Analyzing spatial information
Computers automate the process of analyzing and categorizing spatial data. Computerized geographic information systems (GIS), the primary source of spatial information, employ the technique of computers to collect and analyze spatial data. The spatial data provides cartographers with the required information in the mapmaking process.
2. Aiding Designing
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technology has dominated the design world. CAD technology has replaced the manual drafting process with a more improved and automated process. Using CAD, cartographers can quickly draft many maps at a time. As a bonus, the automatic process of making maps is more accurate, conserving cartographers’ time and effort.
Computers are used to store digital maps. After the maps are processed, they can be converted to paper maps or stored as digital maps. Computers provide ample storage space in a case where the maps are to be stored as digital maps. In addition, if the maps are needed in document format, the computers allow the user to print the softcopy map.
4. Data collection
Radar and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which are computerized tools, are helpful in the collection of map data. GIS, for example, is an automated system that captures spatial data and displays information about different parts of the earth on a computer. It reveals the relationships, patterns, and other components essential to mapmaking. On the other side, radar technology employs waves to collect the earth’s information, which helps determine the elevation and distance of the map’s components.
5. Map scaling
Map scaling is an essential operation in the mapmaking process. In this phase, the components in the maps are scaled down to fit the plane surface. Computer use in cartography has eased the picking of suitable map scale ratios. As a bonus, the computer can estimate the actual distances depending on the scale ratios.
6. Map Production
A computer is a vital tool in the massive production of maps. Cartographers use computers to increase the production rate of maps and the quality of maps. Due to its accuracy, computers are used to produce several error-free maps at a time. In some cases, computers are used to auto-generate components of maps like scales, keys, headers, etc.
7. Presentation and interpretation of maps
Presentation and interpretation are the main aims of visualizing geographical locations. Therefore, to achieve this goal, cartographers use the computer to analyze the map’s data and present it later.
Communication is critical in almost all sectors. The cartography sector is not an exception. In this field, computers are sued to transfer spatial data from one site to another.