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CAD Systems

  • By: Kenneth E. Foote
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Computer-assisted (or aided) drafting (CAD) systems are used to produce maps, diagrams, drawings, plans, and charts. CAD systems are to maps and graphics what word processing packages are to the written word: an easier, digital method for creating and editing documents, which were once drafted by hand. CAD systems are used extensively to map infrastructure (e.g., roads, utilities, property, telecommunication networks) as well as for architecture plans and renderings, mechanical designs, and drawings used in civil and industrial design. Although geographers use these systems largely for mapping geospatial information, CAD systems are remarkably versatile and are used for applications as diverse as designing microchips; shipbuilding; aircraft, aerospace, and satellite design; automobile and engine design and rendering; textile and fashion design; robotics; and computer-assisted manufacturing.

CAD systems, ...

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