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Monday, March 30, 2015

The Eight Most Misspelled and Misused Geospatial Words

Below are the geospatial terms that I find misspelled, mis-expanded and misused most on the Web. For the record, I commit these and other errors far more than I'd like.

The best way to combat these errors is with a a good copyeditor who's familiar with our industry reading over all of your writing.
  • Global Information System - It's a thing, just not usually the GIS in the articles I read and write.
  • Digital Globe - The company name is one word, with two capital letters: DigitalGlobe.
  • ESRI or esri - The company has been known as Esri since 2010.
  • Global Positioning Satellite - There is just ONE Global Positioning System. The generic term for these constellations of satellites is Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
  • Chloropleth - Choropleth makes sense when you think of the root words (Greek): choro - place, pleth = many (like plethora!)
  • Topology - While this term (the study of geometric properties and spatial relations) does appear in technical discussions of mapping, it's commonly used in place of topography (the study of surface shape and features of the Earth and other bodies).
  • Open Street Map(s) - The well known crowdsourced map of the world is one word, singular: OpenStreetMap. (And, it's .org if you are using the URL.)
  • Earth - Earth is capitalized when referred to with the other planets or used without "the": "Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are the innermost planets." The rest of the time, it's not capitalized: "The earth is where we all live."