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Getting Started with Mapping Toolbox

Tutorials

Create Your First World Map

This example shows how to use the Mapping Toolbox to create a world map.

About Mapping

What Is a Map?

A map is a representation of geographic data. Map data represents a set of geographic locations or properties.

What Is Geospatial Data?

Geospatial data represents positions on the surface of a planet through ordered coordinate pairs or in matrix format.

Vector Geodata

Vector geodata consists of sequentially ordered pairs of geographic (latitude, longitude) or projected (x,y) coordinate pairs.

Raster Geodata

Raster geodata represents map data in matrix format.

Latitude and Longitude

Latitude and longitude specify the position of a point on the surface of a planet. They are defined as angles between the point, the equator, and the axis of rotation.

The Shape of the Earth

The Earth can be modeled with increasing precision as a perfect sphere, an oblate spheroid, an ellipsoid, or a geoid.

Map Projections and Distortions

A map projection transforms a curved surface such as the Earth onto a two-dimensional plane. All map projections introduce distortions compared to maps on globes.

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