Design of the habitat map
When designing a habitat map, it is important to consider whether the final product needs to be a printed map or an electronic map. With electronic maps, users can zoom in and out freely to the desired resolution, whereas with printed maps, users are obliged to interpret the map at a specified scale. Still, with electronic mapping, users should be made aware to which scale the data still supports an adequate or meaningful level of zooming.
A quick guide will be offered to some of the common problems associated with electronic cartography, specifically with the creation of suitable habitat maps of the seabed their visualisation in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Some practical solutions are suggested to improve map delivery.
Some important items to consider when designing maps are the correct use of coordinate systems for data, appropriate recording of metadata (e.g. data owner), and the location of suitable attribute information to create a key (e.g. is it stored in a table using such as unique codes that need to be translated into recognisable names of features). Knowing whether information on these issues are available with the data layers will influence the ease with which the final maps are prepared.
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