Friday, December 12, 2008

Digitization and Mapping

You might be interested to know what this article is about and the reason behind writing it.

Yesterday, one of my friends told me that because of the never-ending inflow of information posted on the web, it is more complicated and chaotic to browse and find specific contents. She searched the net for information about digitization & mapping and ended up with almost nothing!

We usually don’t get the exact information from search engines and catalog. It depends on how you search Google or Yahoo or MSN.

If you want to know about digitization and mapping – you can try ‘digitization’ or ‘mapping’. Wikipedia is always there to give you effective details.

To know about the service providers, start searching for ‘digitizing maps or digitization service providers or services’.

At this juncture, I thought of writing on digitization & mapping thinking that it would be really helpful if we understood the mechanics of things that already play a major role in our life.

My goal is to help you say yes to the eternal hypothetical question of, "Do you want to know what’s Digitization and Mapping?".

Well, I will try to explain it as simple as possible.

In the realm of geographical operations, an image or map has to be converted to digital or vector form for better comprehension. This process can be termed as digitization.

As you all know, digitized maps are visual forms of data which are easily comprehensible. More over, maps are extremely efficient for the storage, representation and communication of geographic information. As the saying goes, “A map is worth a million words.”

There are many things hidden underground, behind walls, or beneath the sea. From childhood we have come to believe that our favourite super heroes find them using extraordinary powers. But it’s not just a fantasy now. As radiologists use various imaging devices to detect internal diseases or problems, in earth science, geologists use devices to see deep into the earth, behind walls, and below the sea.

With Utility Mapping, we can immediately locate and spot subsurface service utilities like gas, electric and sewer lines. This system can also easily detect depth and location of objects like water mains, underground storage tanks, terra cotta pipes, tree roots and voids. The GIS specialists, using state of the art technology, can infiltrate manmade or natural surfaces, returning data with unsurpassed quality.

Sometimes utility pipes or cables are relocated during repairs or renovations, but maps might not be updated. The result of digging or drilling in the presence of unknown, unmarked, unmapped, or incorrectly located utilities can cause wastage of excavation time, irreversible damage, more money, and worst of all - personal injury or even death. Accurate utility mapping comes to our help here. The use of utility mapping ranges from small gas stations, through industrial plants and military installations, including utilities beneath buildings or other structures.

Another form of mapping is the toposheet mapping. A toposheet is a shortened name for 'Topographic sheet', which essentially contains information about areas like roads, railways, settlements, canals, rivers, electric poles, post offices etc.

Toposheet mapping can be used to map the contours and elevations of a specific place. According to their usage, they may be available at different scales, for example 1:25000, 1: 50000 etc. They are made on a suitable projection for that area which contains latitude-longitude information at the corners. Thus any point on it can be identified easily with its corresponding latitude-longitude, depending upon the scale (i.e. if the scale is large, more accurate lat-long). You get accurate information about a specific area with this mapping.

With Cartographic mapping, we map the land parcels and define the boundaries of the land under verification/study. This surely will settle land disputes as we can accurately define the external land boundaries between neighbours, though there is no such device discovered to define the internal boundaries of friendship between people!

SBL Geomatics is an emerging company that has developed unwavering acclaim for effectively carrying out difficult or unusual subsurface detection and mapping with its expertise, experience, and flair for creative problem-solving.

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