Jump to content

 
Photo

"Standards and specs"

- - - - -

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
4 replies to this topic

#1
AndyM

AndyM

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Location:Ottawa
  • Canada

I seem to be coming across this phrase a lot these days, but nowhere can I find a definition that differentiates between the two words. My take: a standard is a required element (must have a scalebar) and a spec is a descriptive definition (scalebar must look like this) but I've seen production standards as a list of steps (descriptive).

Does anyone have a better understanding?

#2
Gretchen Peterson

Gretchen Peterson

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • United States

Specifications (specs) = particular things that one map (or software program, or whatever) needs, including descriptions of those items where applicable. A spec can be as simple as "include a scalebar."

Standards = A set of specs that apply across all maps that a company produces, or across a series of maps, or a commonly accepted set of specs for an entire industry.

#3
P.Raposo

P.Raposo

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Penn State
  • United States

I've never seen a formal definition/disambiguation of the two terms, though I can agree with Gretchen's post on how standards are sets of specs (i.e., specifications). I have also seen "standards" apply to things like accuracy; here's an example of USGS accuracy standards.

I add only that colleagues and I have always thought of specs as more descriptive than just statements about what's included. In my experience, specs describe things like a symbol's line weight, RGB/CMYK values, scale ranges, fonts used, etc - the technical info required to recreate symbology. Often handled by things like style files, but I've seen the odd document here and there that details things like that.

Cheers, P

#4
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,084 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

Coming from the print mapping world our use of "specs" (specifications) has been exactly as described by P.Raposo, as the definitive description of a particular style or symbology. So a spec for a a river might read: River, Small Scale; 1pt; c60 m0 y0 k0. And it might include usage notes or applicable scales etc.

Standards would be similar to Gretchen's description, as a set of specs for a particular map, map series, project or entire organization. I can tell you that while always applied, standards are less often written down than specs. We usually just followed the convention we set for ourselves in each map series and used particular maps as the standard example. Peer review at the end of each map project is where we would catch anything out of the standard. There was always a certain amount of cartographic discretion allowed for each cartographer and as long as you could defend your choices it got through. This on;y works when your peers know the standard though so for solo cartographers having a real standard written down works better.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
AndyM

AndyM

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Location:Ottawa
  • Canada

Thank you, all, for your perspectives, gives me some context for my own experience.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->