Friday, November 30, 2007

Final Project - Option # 2

The final project of this class is designed to test the knowledge and technical skills that you have learned during the semester and simulate a real-world GIS project in which you are responsible for collecting, processing, and manipulating GIS data and creating a series of maps with the data. The final product of this project will be a digital map book (PowerPoint) displaying your maps as well as a written report. The maps should be the result of some analysis that you will detail in the report. They should be actual maps that you create in ArcMap, complete with the main map elements that we have discussed. These should not just be screen captures from ArcMap. Rather than assigning a certain task, I want to give you the flexibility to be creative and focus on datasets and areas that are of interest to you, be creative and have fun with it.

Procedures and things to consider:

  • Decide on an area of interest, it can be a local, county, regional, or a state approach. Be creative.
  • Download as much data as you desire or can find, show as much data as possible for your area of interest.
  • Refer to the list of data links that have been provided, feel free to find your own.
  • Perhaps download categories of data for your site, use them as themes for your maps:
    § Boundaries, Hydrography, Transportation, Location, Elevation, etc.
  • Perform analysis and geoprocessing of the data you collect, such as distinguishing between major rivers and streams, types of roads, etc., and create new data layers from the analysis. Include a description of the analysis in the report. If your project is hypothetical, provide some hypothetical questions that would lead to some spatial/raster analysis. Provide details in the written report.
  • Pay attention to coordinate systems.
  • Provide a list of all the data you collect and then used in the maps. Include the data source and projection system that the data is in (both its original form and what reprojection you may have done).
  • Provide a written summary (1 – 2 pages) of your work, give details, and document a step-by-step procedure. This can include the list mentioned above.

    This is your chance to demonstrate what you have learned. I encourage you to put some effort into this. I expect to see at least 3 - 4 maps with at least 10 data layers. This will count as 10% of your final grade. The projects will be due by the end of class on December 14th. Again, you will hand in:

    1 digital PowerPoint map book, 1 written report

Final Project - Watershed Analysis - Option # 1

Project Description

Scenario: Monitoring sites on streams in the Reed Creek watershed (in Asheville) have shown high concentrations of sediment and other chemicals during periods of rain. Your task is to quantify landuse and impervious surfaces in the Reed Creek watershed.

Required Anaysis for Reed Creek Watershed:

  • Determine percentages of landuse within 300 feet of streams in the watershed
  • Determine the percentage of impervious surfaces in the watershed
  • Determine total length of roads in the watershed (feet and miles) in the watershed

Data Sources:


Write up / Report: During the course of the project, make certain to take good notes and record your process. It is very important to document your work so other people can understand what you did without talking to you. Your project (process, analysis, results) should be able to be duplicated by someone else from your documentation. Your report should include the following at a minimum.

  1. Introduction
  2. Methods / Analysis
  3. Results (graphs/charts)
  4. Conclusion
  5. Map showing the watershed with a locator map depicting the watersheds location within the city. You may have more than one map.

Remember that shapefiles are not 'topological' and therefore do not update fields such as area and length when modified. You must create a geodatabase that all of this data will reside in. Geodatabases are a topological data format and will maintain fields of area and length (called shape_area and shape_length) The landuse layer used has codes for the landuse.

Normally, researching the data and collecting (or creating) the data is a big part of any GIS project. For this project, I have provided most (if not all) of the data for you.
Make certain your maps are communicate your GIS analysis and are aesthetically and functionally appropriate.See Chapter 9 - Presenting Data

How do I clip? How do I convert a selected feature to a layer? These and many more questions can be answered collaborating with people doing the same type work as you and looking for people that already have; as well as searching the help in the software.
This might not seem like the easiest way to go about finding the answers but this is how it happens in the real world a lot! I rarely have someone sitting close enough to just turn and ask how to do something. Searching and trouble shooting are the most important skills you will get. It is how I get things done A LOT in the real world. There are many discussion boards, knowledge bases and forums you can post questions and search to see if anyone else has already posted the question you are asking and there may already be an answer. As much as I like to think I'm so 'cutting edge' that I am the first person to be trying something and need help figuring a specific task out - that is RARELY the case. Usually I can find someone who has already asked the question and had it answered.

Some places I look for answers:
Search the following places for 'clipping a layer' or 'buffering'. Then search on another phrase for a question you have.

ESRI Knowledge Base: -Search Main Page - Browse Forums - ESRI Web-based help

The ArcGIS desktop Help:
With ArcGIS open, press F1 or go to Help Dropdown

WWW Search Engines:
Google: - Many of the answers you find here will be in part of ESRI's knowledge base but you'll find a LOT MORE as well!

Module 14 - Testing

  • Lecture Test on Chapters 9,10,and 11 in GIS Fundamentals
  • Lab Test on downloading data and some spatial analysis

  • start looking at the final project

Monday, November 26, 2007

Test 3 - Study Guide

This week, we will have a lecture and lab test. Below you will find a study guide for the lecture test. The lab test will resemble the lab work we did last week in class. Contact me with any questions.

  • Access the study guide HERE (refresh the page if it does not load)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Module 13 - Lab work

This week, you will use the skills you've learned thus far this semester to complete a lab. Get the lab below and upload the final map to your blog for review.

This is the lab

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Module 12 - GIS Day

Class participated in GIS Day. Attended sessions and manned the 'hands-on GPS' booth helping GIS day attendees with GPS technology.

Check out the pics here...

Module 11 - GPS in prep for GIS Day

Garmin 60cs

Import using MapSource
Export to CAD
Spatial Reference issues
Import using GPSUtility
Export to KML for GoogleEarth
Export to GPX for
Export to shapefile for ArcGIS
Geocoding 123
Build Address Locator in ArcToolbox using Buncombe County streets layer
Use find tool in ArcMap to pinpoint address using above Address Locator
Determine orthos grid tile using grid shapefile for county