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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

•  MAP TILING SCHEMES  •

Display of detailed map information for a large area requires a large sheet of paper. To keep paper size manageable, what would otherwise be very large maps are published as multiple small maps called tiles. The scheme used by DeLorme for the Wisconsin Atlas is a familiar example. The state map is divided into eighty numbered tiles (see figure at right). The tile numbers have been set up to coincide with the page numbers in the Atlas. We're interested in the UW-Green Bay campus which falls within tile 68. The detail map showing the campus will be found on page 68 of the Atlas.

Map Tiles and Digital Data
Map tiling schemes originated with paper maps as described above. However, the concept carries over readily into the areas where paper maps have been replaced by spatial databases. For example, a spatial database containing topographic mapping for the state of Wisconsin would be ridiculously large. So a tiling scheme is used to break up the digital data into reasonable-size computer files.