This Unit begins with an overview of different tools and methods for
collecting data to make scale maps. It provides a perspective on
how methods may be selected according to the needs of the
mapping project and how they may be combined or progress into
The rest of the Unit looks at concepts relating to data quality. The
validity and credibility of a scale map rests on the quality of data
that go into it. Key elements of data integrity are the concepts of
traceability, consistency and verifiability. Making and presenting a
scale map attracts scrutiny regarding the precision of the data and
the accuracy of the map. Concepts of resolution, precision and
accuracy are discussed.
There are basic principles for recording data to ensure that the data
can be effectively used to make a credible map. When working in
the field, observations need to be written in a clear, concise and
systematic way so they are legible for the map makers to work with
in drawing the map.
Unit objectives / expected outcomes
After completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:
- describe a variety of simple and complex ways to make
- select an appropriate method of data collection for making
scale maps for a particular situation;
- discuss and apply concepts and best practices for quality
- make legible, complete, systematic field survey notes.
Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing
This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:
- Data quality and taking field notes (PPT No. 1: Data
Collection for Scale Mapping) (40 min)
- Exercise in drawing to scale (Exercise No. 1: Table-top Maps) (30–40 min)
- Exercise showing the effectiveness of sketches in taking field notes (Exercise No. 2: Sketch vs. Text) (20 min)
- A variety of field sketches (Exercise No. 3: Field Sketches) (40–110 min. depending on which sketches are performed)
Keywords / key concepts
Data integrity, precision, resolution and accuracy, triangulation and
cross-checking data, field notes and field sketches
Components of the Unit
Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):
Additional trainer resources
- Flavelle, Alix. 2002. Mapping Our Lands: A guide to making maps of
our own communities and traditional lands. Lone Pine Foundation,
- Tobias, Terry. 2000. Chief Kerry’s Moose: A guidebook to land use
and occupancy mapping, research design and data collection. Union
of B.C. Indian Chiefs and Ecotrust, Vancouver, Canada.
- McCall, Mike. 2006. Precision for whom? Mapping ambiguity and
certainty in (participatory) GIS. In: Participatory Learning and Action
54: Mapping for change: practice, technologies and communication.
London, IIED and Wageningen, The Netherlands, CTA.
- Foote, K. and Huebner D. 2000. Error, Accuracy and Precision.
Computer and beamer, notebook, pencil and eraser for each
participant, table or flat ground surface to work on, graph paper,
ruler, (tape measure if making larger layouts on the ground), 10 or
so objects of different size and shape to be placed around on the