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An introduction to data and information in health and social care
An introduction to data and information in health and social care

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4.1 Where am I and how do I get to …?

In Section 3, you saw an example that gave a location (Ewe Hill in Northumbria) in terms of latitude and longitude, which are parameters for indicating specific locations on the face of the earth. (The word ‘parameter’ comes from mathematics, and in this course means a property or characteristic – often measurable or quantifiable – of something.) Any point on the earth can be described in terms of latitude and longitude. Indeed, map-makers have used them ever since reasonably accurate means of determining them were developed in the eighteenth century.

Activity 9 Your parameters

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Can you think of four or five quantifiable and measurable parameters that describe you? If you’re not certain about this, try looking in your wallet or purse at things like your driving licence or other documents.

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You might have listed things as: your age in years, your height in centimetres, your weight in kilograms, and your birth date. All of these are measurable or quantifiable characteristics of you.