How True are Geological Maps? An Exercise in Geological Mapping.

  • Sturkell E
  • Jakobsson M
  • Gyllencreutz R
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The writer describes a student exercise in mapping that emphasized that maps within the field of earth sciences are most frequently constructed from sparsely and spatially non-uniformly distributed data implying that the final results depend both on sampling strategies and interpretation. The lesson from the exercise was that no map is better than the input data and no map represents the absolute truth. To demonstrate this, individual students divided into groups are given derived data points using different sampling strategies over one defined area. From this set of data samples, students interpret and generate maps, which will are then compared. As a result, none of the maps are identical. This will clearly demonstrate the main point of the exercise—that no map represents the absolute truth—and stimulate a critical perception of published maps in earth science.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Geological maps
  • Geology -- Study & teaching
  • Student activities
  • Student projects

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  • Erik Sturkell

  • Martin Jakobsson

  • Richard Gyllencreutz

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