GIS applications to historical cartographic methods to improve the understanding and visualization of contours

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Abstract

This article illustrates applications of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to two alternative contouring methods published in English in 1932 and 1950 by the Japanese cartographer Kitiro Tanaka. Both of these methods have the potential to help students better understand and visualize contours. Inclined contour traces are defined by the intersection of topography with a series of evenly spaced, inclined planes, as opposed to the traditional horizontal planes used for most contours. This method has the potential to help students understand the concept of contour lines and profiles, aid students in the visualization of topography, and introduce students to the cartographic concept of analytical hillshading. Illuminated contours use black and white contours of varying thickness on a gray background to give the impression of an obliquely lit 3-dimensional surface. This method could help students visualize topography and introduce students to the concepts of aspect, slope and analytical hillshading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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