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ERIC Number: EJ747430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1341
Topographic Maps: Rediscovering an Accessible Data Source for Land Cover Change Research
McChesney, Ron; McSweeney, Kendra
Journal of Geography, v104 n4 p161-178 2005
Given some limitations of satellite imagery for the study of land cover change, we draw attention here to a robust and often overlooked data source for use in student research: USGS topographic maps. Topographic maps offer an inexpensive, rapid, and accessible means for students to analyze land cover change over large areas. We demonstrate our visual-assessment based method using 1:24,000 topographic maps to examine urban expansion and surface mining shrinkage over thirty years in Ohio. Compared with alternative methodologies, the simple method we propose yields surprising robust results. The pedagogic potential of historic USGS topographic maps for land cover change research is just one reason to justify their maintenance in federal depositories.
National Council for Geographic Education. Jacksonville State University, 206A Martin Hall, Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602. Tel: 256-782-5293; Fax: 256-782-5336; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A