Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2002, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (7s): 52-59.doi: 10.11821/xb20027s008

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Study on the Appropriate Scale of Geo-spatial Data

LI Jun, ZHUANG Dafang   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2002-04-08 Revised:2002-08-15 Online:2002-12-25 Published:2002-12-25
  • Supported by:

    Foundation Item: Knowledge Innovation Project of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, No. K2CX2-308


As discussed by many researchers, geo-spatial data have scale characteristics on spatial, temporal and attribute field, and geo-spatial data at different scales were chosen for various applications to meet different needs in each application case. So the concept of appropriate scale of geo-spatial data was raised, that is to say, there should be one or more appropriate scales of data for special data application. Unfortunately, no precise formula of appropriate scale chosen for applications has been set up by geographical researchers up to now, and the appropriate scale was chosen by users based on their experiences. Based on those cases, the paper lists the judgment index for appropriate scale selection, and gives one formula of appropriate scale for the application of land management of Shandong Province, eastern China. In the study area, different scales of 1:100,000, 1:250,000, and 1:1,000,000 landuse datasets were chosen for the appropriate scale analysis. The total area of each kind of landuse type for all the three scale datasets is calculated and compared with total area number by field investigation, and the landuse patterns are also created by calculating distance between each land parcel geometrical center. The author finds out that 1:100,000 scale landuse dataset is more appropriate for landuse analysis and management for a region like Shandong Province with a total area of less then 160,000 km2.

Key words: spatial data, appropriate scale, scale of land use data, Shandong Province