Showing posts from December, 2020

Coastline Paradox

A coastline or a shoreline is something that can only be measured with a measurable degree of accuracy. As the measure of accuracy changes, so does the length of the coastline / shoreline. In other words, if I take a yardstick, a ruler, and 30' length of rope to measure the shore, I get three different answers. Each is correct, when stated with what was used to make the measurement. This is a counterintuitive outcome. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) should be able to quite easily measure the length of lines, right? The problem lies within the analysis itself. I can only tell where the shoreline of Dale Hollow Lake is based on known described layers of data with measured limitations. If I artificially inflate those limitations (in this example, I'm increasing distance between vertices) and record the change in shoreline, one can see how the shoreline decreases as the measure of accuracy decreases (distance between vertices increases, shoreline decreases). Same is t