In most spatially oriented projects, the conversion of data from analog to digital form used to be an extremely time-consuming process. At present, industrial and research institutions continue to accumulate large quantities of data that are easily accessible to users worldwide, and consequently less time is spent for data input. In addition, the introduction of Internet2 rapidly increased the transfer of spatial data through the electronic highway and opened new avenues for collaboration among research institutions and scientists. It is apparent that this trend will continue in the future. New regional and national centers for spatial data are being established with the objective of providing data to natural resource institutions and developing a high-resolution database of regional significance. Therefore the questions of spatial data accuracy and quality are of utmost importance. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the propagation of errors, outline the major trends and problems that are encountered during spatial data analysis, and demonstrate the propagation of errors during raster data conversion in a GIS environment. The results of this study will contribute to an understanding of errors emanating from the conversion of irregularly spaced points to regular grids using different interpolation methods.
Presented at the 24th Applied Geography Conference, Fort Worth, Texas 2001