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In cartography, rubber-sheeting refers to the process by which a layer is distorted to allow it to be seamlessly joined to an adjacent geographic layer of matching imagery, such as satellite imagery (most commonly vector cartographic data) which are digital maps. This is sometimes referred to as image-to-vector conflation. Often this has to be done when layers created from adjacent map sheets are joined together. Rubber-sheeting is necessary because the imagery and the vector data will rarely match up correctly due to various reasons, such as the angle at which the image was taken, the curvature of the surface of the earth, minor movements in the imaging platform (such as a satellite or aircraft), and other errors in the imagery.
Applications in history and historical geography
Rubber-sheeting is a useful technique in Historical GIS, where it is used to digitize and add old maps as feature layers in a modern GIS. Before aerial photography arrived, most maps were highly inaccurate by modern standards. Rubber-sheeting may improve the value of such sources and make them easier to compare to modern maps.
Software for Rubber-sheeting
- ESRI's ArcGIS 8.3+ has the capability of rubber-sheeting vector data, and ArcMap 9.2+ may also rubber-sheet raster layers.
- Autodesk's AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Civil 3D (which includes most of AutoCAD Map 3D's functionality) allows a user to rubbersheet vector data, and Autodesk's Raster Design (an add-in product for AutoCAD-based products) allows a user to rubbersheet raster data.
- http://docs.autodesk.com/MAP/2013/ENU/index.html AutoCAD Map 3D Reference Help - ADERSHEET command
- AutoCAD Raster Design User Guide p.32 - http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/autocad_raster_design_2012_getting_started.pdf
- http://www.globalmapper.com/helpv13/Help_ImageRectification.html Global Mapper Online User's Guide