The New Standard for Map Accuracy

For years, mapping was characterized by small-scale paper maps produced by low-tech processes and technologies. But over the past 30 years, mapping technologies have rapidly advanced. While this has been an advantage to those working in the industry because they have access to faster and better ways to map even larger areas, quality standards for the data have not always kept up with the technology.

In the early 90s, ASPRS addressed this issue by updating to new standards that were more suitable for larger scale, more accurate maps. But even these standards are now out of date compared to today’s availability of technologies, such as LiDAR and IFSAR.

Last year, ASPRS’s Primary Data Acquisition Division (PDAD) tasked a committee of specialists and scientists to update these standards. The new draft standard addresses a number of outstanding issues, such as using the more worldwide-accepted 1:xxxx scale instead of 1″=xx’ and introducing more stringent accuracy measures.

While even these standards will need to be updated again in the future as technologies continue to advance, once they are accepted and published they will go a long way to updating production processes industry-wide so that all GIS products meet the quality standards available through today’s technology.

Read more in-depth details on the draft standards here.

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