Monday, March 4, 2013

GIS4043 Introduction to GIS Student Spotlight: Projections Part I

GIS4043 Introduction to GIS, Instructor, Mrs. Amber Bloechle

Projections Part I

This week we began part one of a two part series investigating map projections. In this lab we explored projections and created one map with three data frames that allowed us to view three different projection types.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Locate Coordinate Systems help for ArcGIS
  • Recall the basis in which projected and geographic coordinate systems are measured
  • Observe software rules and “on-the-fly” functions while adding data with and without a defined coordinate system to a map data frame
  • Add geographic data to a map
  • Utilize the Project tool in ArcGIS to reproject a data layer to a common Projected Coordinate System
  • Recognize .prj file as projection information associated with GIS data files
  • Recall where the Project tool is located and when it should be used
  • Utilize the Search tool to quickly locate desired tools in ArcGIS software
  • Work with data being displayed among multiple data frames in ArcMap
  • Visualize data being displayed in three different projected coordinate systems on a single map and note the differences
  • Quantify the difference in area (square miles) between data being displayed between three different projected coordinate systems
  • Create a single map displaying multiple data frames

The following student was chosen for her exceptional work on the Projections Part I assignment:

Ritza Anitsakis

About Name: Ritza is a recent college graduate and currently works in the oil and gas industry.  Her hopes from the certificate are to obtain a better understanding of GIS and become more efficient in her daily tasks.  When not working and producing great labs, she enjoys baking, reading and spending time with friends.  Welcome to the spotlight club - you deserve it!

What we like: Ritza made excellent decisions regarding the design and overall clean presentation of her map. Her legend is easy to read and her font and color choices compliment her map. We also like that she kept her color scheme for her counties the same for each projection which made the map easy to read and comprehend. Great work!

"The lab this week introduced students to one of the most important items in GIS, projections. Map projections are what allow us to transform 3D earth data onto a 2D map. There are numerous  map projections, all for different needs. The map projection process distorts shape, area, distance, and direction of data. 
This can be observed in the maps I created for this lab, which are displayed below. Four counties in Florida are focused on in these maps, each showing a different projection type. Though the counties are consistent between the maps, in the legend it is obvious that they are not projected the same due to the differences in area calculations. This is due to the fact that the earth is an ellipsoid, which cause great differences in distance across the globe. The first map, Albers Conical Equal Area, is the best for this activity due to the fact that it accurately represents area across Earth, despite distorting the map."

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