Jak zobaczyć informację, czyli różnorodne funkcje mapy w procesie wymiany informacji
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Along with the development of the modern communication techniques communication and the information storage, the amount of data building-up from all around is increasing at an alarming rate. A significant part of these data is of spatial nature, which means that identifying them on the surface of the Earth is possible. This, so called ‘spatial data’, can also include information about objects’ geometry, location in the defined reference system, as well as characteristics of spatial relations that can occur between particular object and other objects. Therefore we can interpret the term ‘geographic information’ as an information about natural or abstractive objects as well as phenomena and processes that occur on the Earths’ surface.There are many sources of spatial data, including: satellite and aerial imaging, field measurements, maps and other databases, etc. The timeliness of the spatial data is diverse and depends on many factors. In comparison with a life of an average human, large amount of spatial data is up-to-date for a long period: for instance, mountain ranges change so slow that it is imperceptible. Decades are needed to percept substantial changes in the density of roads or railways. Some data, like administrative boundaries, have specified chronological durability – they are valid from the moment they were introduced by one legislation until they would be cancelled by another legislation. However, crucial part of the spatial data get out of date very quickly - in matter of months, days, hours – catastrophic events are the mayor reason of the spatial information redundancy. The abstract character of some information is another problem that often arises from collecting spatial data. For example population density – what it really is, how should it be counted or what is the reason for doing it? While presenting spatial information, a cartographer must face a lot of issues similar to those mentioned in this paper.Since the early 60’s there is a big dispute among cartographers on the definition of map and its role in the process of the information transfer. The most frequently advanced thesis describes maps as sources, carriers, models, visualizations and even specific language of information transfer. Maps simultaneously collect, describe (encode), order (give a hierarchy), select, synthesize, visualize, communicate and archive information about qualitative or quantitative characteristics of geographical phenomena (real or abstract) in the form of a notional spatial model. Similarly to a language, a map is a dynamic creation, which changes along with time, space and function. Model arising in the mind of an editor (map creator) subjects to the laws of determinism and, as such, is burdened with a number of factors (history, language, culture, environment, etc.). Map made in accordance with the best possible knowledge and the most advanced printing techniques for a given historical period, is a reflection of the civilization development which shows how the reality was perceived by the maps‘ creators.The stages of selection, synthesis and visualization of information done by map editor, lead to a new quality of communication, adapted to the recipients’ mental and physical capabilities (age, knowledge, efficiency of response to stimuli). Despite this, the model formed in the mind of the maps’ recipient is always secondary, burdened with a different set of conditions and, in consequence, may significantly differ from the original model.
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