Digital Projections
Calgary, Alberta,

(403) 547-0404



A list of Digital Mapping related terms and definitions


    A list of Digital Mapping related terms and definitions:

  • AI: Adobe Illustrator file format. The preferred format for Press Publishing. Most common format to output to press. Also see EPS. Adobe Illustrator is a popular and industry standard design software. Compatible between Macs and Pcs
  • Bleed: An image that bleeds is one that extends slightly beyond the final trim marks, so ink runs off the page. a 1/4" bleed is usually preferred, and is specially important on color both sides (4/4) printing. Adding this bleed in the design will minimize any loss on the edges of prints, and will make cutting or trimming the final product a breeze. The alternative is a white border, and this is called: No bleed
  • CAD: Computer Aided Design, also refers to AutoCAD and similar digital drafting vector software. The staff of Digital Projections have solid experience with AutoCAD software and other vector and raster design software
  • CDED: Canadian Digital Elevation Data. This data is free from the Canadian Government. Mostly used to output 3D terrain models. Digital Projections can help you deal with this type of data, and output it to paper or other formats
  • CDR: CorelDraw drawing file format. A popular Graphic Design Software. Digital Projections offers its clients support to output from these type of software, weather to large format plotting, or press output
  • CMYK: Short for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, color model in which all colors are described as a mixture of these four process colors. CMYK is the standard color model used in offset printing for full-color documents. Because such printing uses inks of these four basic colors, it is often called four-color printing
  • Contour Lines: Lines placed on the map represent lines of equal elevation above (or below) a reference datum, for example 5000, 6000, 7000 feet. To visualize what a contour line represents, picture a mountain (or any other topographic feature) and imagine slicing through it with a perfectly flat, horizontal piece of glass. The intersection of the mountain with the glass is a line of constant elevation on the surface of the mountain and could be put on a map as a contour line for the elevation of the slice above a reference datum (I.E. Sea level)
  • Datum: Datum is used to describe the actual shape of the earth in mathematical terms. This is because the earth's surface is not perfectly round, but ellipsoid in shape. Common datum used Nad83, Nad27, or WGS84
  • Drafting: Computer-aided drafting, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) where Technicians use computers to draft layouts, line drawings, and designs. Digital Projections offers top of the line quality Drafting service
  • Digitizing: Digitally tracing objects to a vector drawing from either a paper map or a scan (raster image)
  • DPI: Abbreviation of dots per inch, describes the resolution of a raster image
  • DWG: AutoCAD file format. Also see DXF. Format used to save AutoCAD files. Backward version compatible only
  • DXF: Native AutoCAD file format. Also see DWG. Format used to transfer drawings between compatible software
  • EPS: Adobe Illustrator compatible format. Abbreviation of Encapsulated PostScript. Also see AI
  • FTP: File transfer protocol. Digital Projections uses FTP to transfer large files to our clients. Clients are provided in an Email with a clickable link to download their files. Once download is complete, it's important to let us know so we can remove these files off of our site to create room
  • GeoTiff: Metadata standard which allows geo-referencing information to be embedded within a TIFF file. Includes projection, coordinate system, ellipsoid, datum, and everything else necessary to establish the exact spatial reference for the file. Topographic maps can be provided in GeoTiff format. Also see TFW. GeoTiffs are commonly used in GIS software to tile maps with correct spatial orientation
  • GIS: Geographical Information System: A computer system for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analyzing and displaying data related to positions on the Earth's surface
  • GPS: Global Positioning System: Is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS
  • Lamination: Laminating is pressing paper into clear plastic coating either using heat (Hot Lamination), or glow (Cold Lamination) to make the paper stronger, more durable, and resistant to humidity, stains, & UV damage. Digital Projections offers both kind of lamination, see pricing and more details under "Picture Framing"
  • Mounting: In simplest terms is the process of placing a photo or print onto something else for display, I.E. Foam Core, Show card, Plaque, Plexi, etc. Digital Projections offers various types of Mounting, see pricing and more details under "Picture Framing", or contact us if you have any questions
  • Plaque Mounting: A new option for displaying your favorite posters! Plaque mounting is an economical alternative to conventional picture framing. The poster is professionally dry-mounted onto fiber board, and then completed with a dry matte finish. Plaque mounted posters are UV protected and they maintain the color vibrancy of the poster. Plaque mounted posters are durable, easy to clean and they suit any decor! Digital Projections offers three types of Plaque Mounting: Standard Plaque, Float, and Flush Mounting, see pricing and more details under "Picture Framing"
  • Plotting: Plotting is Printing. The term is usually used in large format, Color or Grayscale on various types of media. Digital Projections is you #1 source for fast and quality digital plotting output. Most file formats are acceptable, see pricing and more details under "Plotting & Repro."
  • PMS: Stands for Pantone Matching System, a standard system for color identification. Each PMS color has a unique number and ink formula
  • Projection: Projections are used in mapping to define the earth on a flat surface. A map projection defines the spatial relationship between features on the earth's surface (3D) and their representations on a map (2D)
  • Raster or Bitmap: Image in a series of bits (pixels) of information, much like an image on your TV, with each pixel having a size, and color. The overall image is displayed from the accumulation of these pixels
  • Relief Shading / Shaded Relief: Adding a colored background behind the map to portray the relief. It's a method for representing topography on maps in a natural, aesthetic, and intuitive manner
  • Reproduction: The act of reproducing or the condition or process of being reproduced
  • Resolution: The more dots per inch (DPI), the higher the resolution and the clarity of the image. If you are unsure of the quality and resolution if your photo or image before you request a print, Email it to us and let us take a look at it. We will make suggestions accordingly
  • RGB: Stands for the three primary colors of light: Red, Green, & Blue. RGB can be described as the computer's native color space for capturing images and displaying them
  • Scanning: Transferring of images from paper to digital (to a raster file.) Digital Projections offers small and large format color and B/W scanning services, see pricing and more details under "Digitizing/Scanning"
  • StuffIt: A compression program available on the market, similar to Winzip, more popular with Mac OS but also runs in Windows. To use StuffIt, search, download, and run a demo version of this software from the Internet
  • TB: Stands for Terabyte, which ~ 1000 GB. 1 GB (Gigabyte) ~ 1000 MB. 1 MB (Megabyte) ~ 1000 KB. 1 KB (Kilobyte) ~ 1000 bytes
  • TFW: TFW world files: This is a separate file usually accompanies a raster file (such as tiff or Jpeg,) containing the geo-referencing information to spatially orient maps correctly in GIS software. Also see GeoTiff. Digital Projections has the ability to output maps in TFW format, GIS ready
  • Topo Map: A map is a way of representing on a two-dimensional surface, (a paper, a computer monitor, etc.) any real-world location or object. Many maps only deal with the two-dimensional location of an object without taking into account its elevation. Topographic maps on the other hand do deal with the third dimension by using contour lines to show elevation change on the surface of the earth, or below the surface of the ocean
  • United Inches: Use United inches (ui) to calculate your pricing on Dry Mounting on Foam Core, Matte Laminating, Plaque Mounting, Float Mounting, and Flush Mounting. UI = Length + Width of your poster. Always round up the final measurement in inches to the bigger row. For example: A piece that is 14x20 inches = 34 UI. A piece that is 31x36 inches = 67 UI but gets rounded up to 68 UI. Then see your price on our Picture Framing page.
  • Vector: Object-oriented graphics. See Vector Maps
  • Vector Maps / Vector Topos: Maps that are CAD, GIS, or Graphic drawings where each road, stream, and contour line, are individual entities. This is completely different from Raster maps which are simply paper maps that have been scanned, or scanned and geo-referenced.
  • Vectorizing: Transferring a raster file to a vector file with layers
  • Winzip: Zip files compress data and therefore save time and space and make downloading files and transferring Email attachments faster. To use Winzip, search, download, and run this free software from the Internet