Measurements from Maps

The Principles & Methods of Cartometry

  • D. H. Maling, formerly University of Wales, UK

Dr Maling draws from a lifetime of experience in mathematical cartography to write on a topic which has been almost wholly ignored in English scientific literature - cartometry. He spent time with the British Geological Survey in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands and has the distinction of having Maling Peak on Coronation Island in the South Orkney Islands named after him. Dr\Maling has lectured in cartography and topographical sciences and is a founder member of the British Cartographic Society. This book covers the theory and practice of measuring distance and area on maps, using by extension, all kinds of remotely sensed images from satellite imagery through conventional aerial photographs to photomicrographs. Particular emphasis is placed upon the application of cartometry to the definition of maritime boundaries as established by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The book also shows the considerable overlap in interests between cartometry and stereology, the term used by biologists and others to describe the methods of measuring distance, area and volume of cells and organs examined microscopically. Little mathematical knowledge is assumed by the author, however the necessary background to some of the more complex mathematical arguments is given. The book includes case histories, worked examples and a glossary of commonly used symbols.
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For scientists or technologists in fields of geography, cartography, geology, forestry, resource evaluation. Graduate and undergraduate courses.


Book information

  • Published: December 1988
  • Imprint: PERGAMON
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-030290-4


It is fair to call this book encyclopedia... Maling's masterwork.
Photogrammetric Record, October 1989

He has done us a service in bringing together a voluminous list of reference material, much in foreign languages... This is a volume which reads well and has a surprisingly large amount to say.
Geol. Mag. 127 (1), January 1990
Vastly more comprehensive than its predecessors, and likely to remain the definitive reference book on the subject for many years.
Geol. Mag. 127 (1), January 1990
D H Maling's book is important. There has until now been no other book in the English language specifically devoted to the measurements of maps... The book is a refreshing change from so much that has previously been written and the author writes extremely lucidly into the bargain... It is to be hoped that Dr Maling's book will form the basis of another kind of manual - a standard reference work on the subject of cartometry and related measurement.
Geographical Journal., March 1990

Table of Contents

(partial) The nature of cartometry. The nature of the medium. The methods of measuring distance. The methods of measuring area. The variability of cartometric measurements. Errors of measurement and their analysis. Statistical sampling and cartometry. Spatial sampling and cartometry. The concept of the accurate maps. Deformations of the medium. Corrections to deformation by measurement control. Definition of the feature to be measured. Measurements on aerial photographs. Conventional linear measurements and their reduction. Probabilistic methods of distance measurement. Geometrical methods of area measurement. Area measurement by planimeter. Direct measurement of area by point-counting methods. Indirect measurement of area by point-counting methods. Area determined by linear measurements. Cartometry and the digital computer. Measurements on Mercator's projection. The cartometric definition, demarcation and recovery of maritme boundaries.