Catching lat lon in wrong country errors

Doug Yanega dyanega at UCR.EDU
Wed Jan 5 10:11:18 CST 2005

John Irish wrote:

>If you put your country polygons into a MySQL database, you can run a
>SQL query on it to determine whether a specific pair of coordinates fall
>within a specific polygon. For any non-rectangular country (like
>Namibia), this will be rather more accurate than testing a bounding box.

I have a question about this discussion of georeferencing: is it or
is it NOT people's intent to have a human being go through and
doublecheck whether the outcome of such a procedure is accurate in
every case? I can only assume that it is NOT, given that (a) having a
human doublechecking the output of an automated procedure is not a
substantial saving of time and effort over having a human doing the
georeferencing directly, skipping the automated procedure entirely,
and (b) from what I've seen, there is no automated georeferencing
program yet in existence which has a lower error rate than a human
being who can read a map and can type. I would have thought the idea
was to use an automated procedure only *after* a human has done the
georeferencing, in an attempt to catch any errors the *human* may
have made.

In essence, I'm curious as to whether my impression - that it sounds
like people are talking as if the idea is to have the programs doing
the primary georeferencing, and humans doing the error-checking,
rather than the other way around - is because I'm not understanding
what people are saying, or because they actually *believe* that's the
proper approach?


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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