# G492 GIS for Earth Sciences Map Projections and Coordinate Systems

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1 G492 GIS for Earth Sciences Map Projections and Coordinate Systems I. Introduction A. Fundamental Concern with Map Work 1. Maps / GIS a. 2-D representation of Earth surface b. locations of map features on cartesian coordinate system (1) Data Points (2) x,y coordinates in 2-D 2. Earth Globe = 3-D a. spherical trigonometry / geometry (1) longitude / latitude system 3. Map Projection - mathematical / geometric method for projecting spherical positions on a 2-D grid system a. transformation of geographic grid (lat / long) to 2-D cartesian coordinate system B. GIS and Map Layers 1. Layer Concept = portion of Earth's surface divided into separate "coverages" or thematic layers a. Layer examples for a locality (1) geology, soils, topography, vegetation, roads, streams, buildings, etc. (a) each theme = layer 2. Goal of Map Layers a. to overlay each layer on top of one another in proper geographic coordinate space (1) layers must precisely overlay on top of one another 3. Problem with projections and layers: if separate layers are in different projections, maps will not properly align NOTE: You must know the system of projection for each of the map layers in GIS, if they are not properly coordinated, layers will not properly align with one another, or with real world positions. C. Basic Terminology 1. Georeference system - coordinate system used to plot position of points, lines, and polygons in map space 2. Map Registration - proper alignment of map coordinates with real world coordinates of features on the Earth's surface 3. Map Projection - converting digital maps from lat-long (geographic coordinates based on 3-D spherical geometry) to 2-D coordinates II. Map Scale and Resolution A. Fractional Scaling 1. 1:24,000 - common large scale used on topo sheets a. covers small area in great detail 2. 1:1,000,000 - common small scale used on world maps a. covers large area in minimal detail 1

2 B. Map Resolution - ability to resolve surface features on a map, depends on scale Example of Map Resolutions Based on Line Width of 0.5 mm Line Width (0.5 mm) Scale Resolution Smallest Detectable Object Area (sq. m) (Minimum) 0.5 1:24, m 24 m :50, m 50 m :250, m 250 m 62, :5,000, m 5000 m 25,000,000 In-Class Exercise: Spatial Scales and Digital Image Resolution In remote sensing, a given "scene" is a particular portion of the Earth's surface that is captured in and aerial photograph or satellite image. The digital resolution of the "scene" is the amount of land area that is covered in 1 pixel of the image. Each pixel is assigned a digital color code or shade. When all pixels are combined together a resultant digital image is produced. The resulting image is arranged in a series of columns and rows of pixel boxes. Problems: (1) Given a scale of 1:48,000 on a topographic map, a square plot of land covers 8 inches by 8 inches in map units. Determine side distances of the plot in meters. Determine the area of the plot is square kilometers. (2) Determine the number of rows and columns in an image of the plot with the following spatial resolutions: No. Rows No. Columns 1 - meter resolution 10-meter resolution 30-meter resolution 100-meter resolution (3) If you had an image of the plot that was comprised of 2500 rows and columns, what is the resulting spatial resolution? 2

3 III. Geographic Grid A. Spherical Coordinate System (lat / long) 1. meridians - N-S lines of longitude measured by angles in an E-W direction, relative to the prime meridian a. prime meridian = 0 long (1) east long (2) west long 2. parallels - E-W lines of latitude measured by angles in a N-S direction, relative to the equator. a north lat b south lat 3. Angular Measurement a. degrees-minutes-seconds (DMS) (1) 1 degree = 60 minutes (2) 1 minute = 60 seconds (3) 1 degree = 3600 seconds b. decimal degrees (DD) e.g. 44 degrees 30 min N lat = 44.5 degrees o o e.g '30" = c. 4. Origin of Geographic Grid = 0 deg Long, 0 Lat a. x coord = long (1) positive values: east (2) negative values: west b. y coord = lat (1) positive values: 0-90 north (2) negative values: 0-90 south 3

4 In-Class Exercise - Measuring Great Circle Distances on the Globe Definition of Great Circle - a line passing between any two points on the globe, which can form an angle with the vertex at the center of the Earth (e.g. all meridians are great circles, the only parallel that is a great circle in the 0 degree lat parallel, or equator) Equation for Great Circle Distance on a Sphere Between any Two Points, A and B on a sphere: cos (D) = (sin(a)*sin(b)) + (cos (a)*cos (b)*cos γ ) where D = angular distance in degrees between two points (1 degree on great circle = 69 miles), a and b are the geographic latitudes of points A and B, γ = the absolute value of the difference in longitude between pts. A and B Problem: determine the great circle distance in miles between Nome, AK and Miama, Fla. using the following positions. o Nome lat = 63 30' N o Miami lat = 25 45' N o long = ' W o long = 80 11' W hint: you must convert your lat and long to decimal degrees Part 2 - Examine the map figure below with pt. locations 1, 2, and 3. The points are located at the following UTM coordinates Easting (m) Northing (m) pt pt pt Use Pythagorean's theorem to determine the distances between the following point combinations (SHOW all of your math work!): Distance 1-2 (meters) = Distance 1-3 (meters)= Distance 2-3 (meters)= Distance 3-3 (meters)= 4

5 IV. Map Projection: transformation of spherical Earth surface position to plane surface, cartesian coordinate system A. Utility of Map Projections 1. allow work in 2-D linear coordinates, rather than 3-D spherical coordinates 2. Problem: projecting a sphere onto a flat surface involves distortion a. distortion of map shapes b. distortion of map areas c. distortion of distance / scale B. Projection Types 1. conformal projection - preserves shapes, but distorts areas 2. equivalent projection - preserves areas, but distorts shapes a. aka "equal area projections" 3. equidistant projection - maintains equivalency of scale and distance 4. azimuthal projection - maintains true directional / angular relationships C. Projections Methods 1. Terminology a. reference globe - 3-D reference spheroid of the Earth that is being projected b. aspect: direction about which the Earth is projected to a surface (1) polar projection - projected from poles of earth (2) equatorial projection - projected from the equator of earth c. Projection suface = 2-D map surface upon which the globe is projected 2. Cylindrical Projection: projecting the Earth's surface to a cylinder enveloping the reference globe 3. Conical Projection: projecting the Earth's surface to a cone enveloping a portions of the reference globe 4. Planar (azimuthal) Projection: projecting the earth's surface to a flat plane D. Styles / Methods of Projections 1. Tangent - projection surfaces tangent to the Earth's surface 2. Secant - projection surfaces that form line segments between arcs of the spherical surface Tangent Projection: scaling factor at point of tangency = 1:1 (no distortion), distortion increases away from tangency point. Secant Projection: scaling factors at two points of intersection = 1:1 (no distortion), distortion increases to center of map. 5

6 gnomonic stereographic orthographic Styles of Geometric Projection to a Map Surface 3. Standard Line - line of tangency between the projection surface and the reference globe 4. Standard Parallel - standard line that follows a parallel (line of lat.) 5. Standard Meridian - standard line that follows a meridian (line of long) 6. Scale Factor = ratio local scale / scale of reference globe a. standard line scale factor = 1 (i.e. standard line has same scale as the reference globe) 7. Central Parallel = E-W line that forms the base for northings (0 base line) 8. Central Meridian = N-S line that forms the base for eastings (0 base line) a. quadrants defined by central parallel and central meridian (1) NE = + X and +Y (2) NW = -X and +Y (3) SE = +X and - Y (4) SW = -X and -Y 9. False Eastings / False Northings a. A false origination point set to the southwest of the map projection, results in placing all positions in the NE Quadrant with + X and + Y values for all positions Special Term: "Metadata" = data / information about the spatial data. Text files that include the following information: source of data, year, projection used, measurement units, reference spheroid, etc. V. Types of Map Projections A. Transverse Mercator 1. basis = standard meridian (line of longitude) a. arranged in north-south elongated zones with origin at equator (1) Oregon = zone 10 N 2. parameters for projection a. scale factor at central meridian b. longitude of central meridian c. latitude of origin (central parallel) d. false easting e. false northing 6

7 B. Lambert Conformal Conic 1. Common Use a. mid-latitudes b. east-west dimension > north-south dimension (1) e.g. Oregon 2. Parameters a. secant projection b. first and second standard parallels c. central meridian d. latitude of projections origin e. false easting / false northing C. Considerations for Choosing a Projection 1. Latitude a. low latitude = cylindrical projection is best b. mid-latitude = conical projection is best VI. Spheroid and Datum A. Spheroid (or ellipsoid) - 3-D model that approximates the shape of the Earth 1. shape of Earth = oblate spheroid a. D poles < D equator B. Datum = mathematical relationship between the approximation of the spheroid and the actual shape of the Earth 1. Question: is the Earth really a smooth basketball? C. Example Spheroids / Datum 1. Clarke ground measured spheroid a. equatorial radius = m b. polar radius = m c. Distortion Effects of Speroid (1) of small consequence over small areas (2) of great consequence over global scales d. example (1) North American Datum 1927 (NAD 1927) = based on Clarke 1866 spheroid (a) center of datum = Meades Ranch, Kansas 2. World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS1984) a. satellite-derived spheroid from orbital data (1) equatorial radius = m (2) polar radius = m 3. GRS80 (Geodetic Reference System 1980) a. similar to WGS North American Datum 1983 (NAD1983) a. Based on WGS1984 or GRS80 spheroids 7

8 D. Discussion 1. Datum for many USGS topographic maps in Oregon - NAD27 a. NAD83 (1) more accurate (2) based on satellite positioning, compatible with GPS (3) Conversion from NAD27 to NAD83 (a) errors = shifts in positions up to 100 m IMPORTANT INFORMATION: In using GIS, the very first information about the data you must collect (or the metadata) is knowing what coordinate system, map units, projection, and datum the data are in!!! DANGER: if the projection and datum are off, map layers will not properly align and overlay!!! VII. Coordinate Systems A. General Rule on Distortion 1. The larger the scale (the less area covered and more detailed) the less the distortion from 3-D to 2-D 2. The smaller the scale ( the more area covered and less detailed) the more the distortion from 3-D to 2-D B. Coordinate Systems Commonly Encountered in the U.S. 1. Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM -meters) a. applied to latitudes ranging from 84N to 80 S b. 60 longitudinal zones, north and south of equator (1) 1 zone = 6 degrees of longitude (6 x 60 = 360) (2) zone 1 begins at 180W long. (3) western Oregon = zone 10 N (4) eastern Oregon = zone 11 N 2. State Plane Coordinates (SPC - feet) a. Developed in the 1930's to survey states b. accuracy requirments: 1 part per 10,000 or less (1) e.g. 1 ft error for every 10,000 ft distance on ground c. projections (1) Lambert Conformal (a) used for states elongated in E-W direction (2) transverse mercator (a) 3. Public Land Survey System (PLSS) a. Township-Range-Section Systems (1) 1 section = 1 mi x 1 mi used for states elongated in N-S direction (2) 1 township = 36 sections or 36 sq. miles (a) 6 ranges x 6 townships C. Oregon Coordinate Systems in Use by GIS Coverages 1. UTM NAD meters - used by most federal agencies on Oregon Topo Quads a. Oregon divided by zone 10 N and zone 11 N boundary b. transverse mercator projections c. Vital information for projections in ArcView with Oregon Data 8

9 UTM Zone 10 N NAD1927 Units: meters False Easting: False Northing 0 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Transverse Mercator Central Meridian: -123 Central Parallel: 0 Scale Factor: Ellipsoid (spheroid): Clarke 1866 UTM Zone 11 N NAD1927 Units: meters False Easting: False Northing 0 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Transverse Mercator Central Meridian: -117 Central Parallel: 0 Scale Factor: Ellipsoid (spheroid): Clarke SPC NAD used by Polk County and other local agencies a. state divided into SPC North and SPC South zones b. Lambert conformal projection c. Vital information for projections in ArcView with Oregon Data Oregon State Plane North - NAD 1983 Units: feet False Easting: False Northing 0 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Lambert Conformal Conic Central Meridian: Central Parallel: Standard Parallel 1: Standard Parallel 2: 46 Ellipsoid (spheroid): GRS 1980 Oregon State Plane South - NAD 1983 Units: feet False Easting: False Northing 0 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Lambert Conformal Conic Central Meridian: Central Parallel: Standard Parallel 1: Standard Parallel 2: 44 Ellipsoid (spheroid): GRS

10 Oregon Lambert Projection 3. Oregon Lambert Projection a. customized state projection used by state agencies b. Lamber conformal projection c. NAD feet d. advantage: state has 1 continuous projection ("1 zone", with no divisions) e. Vital information for projections in ArcView with Oregon Data Geographic Datum: 1983_NAD Units: Foot (international 1 ft m) Geographic Coordinate System: GCS_North_American_1983 False Easting: False Northing: 0.0 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Base Projection: Lambert_Conformal_Conic Central Meridian: Central Parallel: Standard Parallel 1: 43 Standard Parallel 2: 45.5 THE MAJOR RULE FOR DOWNLOADING GIS DATA FROM THE INTERNET: You must download the data and metadata. The metadata file will give information on the datum, map units, projection, and coordinate system. You must know this before compiling GIS layers, otherwise the data will not properly align or overlay!!! 10

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