Tuesday, March 26, 2013

GIS4043 Introduction to GIS Student Spotlight- Data Search

GIS4043 Introduction to GIS, Instructor, Mrs. Amber Bloechle

Data Search

This week we continued on our quest of downloading data from online sources. This lab will require us to download data from from online sources and to create 1-3 maps that best represent the data you are presenting which included county boundaries, cities/towns, major roads, hydrology data, public lands, DEM data, a DOQQ, and 2 environmental layers, all using the same projection.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Review and record metadata for data coming from multiple sources
  • Select GIS data that meets the needs of a defined project (scale, attributes, geographic extent, time sensitive, software being used or required format)
  • Download data from online sources
  • Practice data management of GIS data coming from multiple sources
  • Detect and correct data errors for use in a GIS
  • Intelligently select a geographic projection to be used in a defined project
  • Detect and correct geographic projection issues
  • Reproject data from Albers to UTM 
  • Utilize select by location and clip tools in ArcGIS to isolate a study area
  • View selected records and create a new map layer from selected feature
  • Create easy to interpret maps presenting multiple downloaded data layers using ArcGIS


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Data Search assignment:

 Chris Handly

About Chris: Chris Handly lives in the Tampa Bay area and works for the NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) at US Special Operations Command.
He has been with the NGA for over 21 years and has a background that includes geospatial analysis and integration of geospatial methods into traditional imagery and intelligence analysis, especially with the advent in geospatial tools and software.
When away from his desk, Chris enjoys hunting and fishing.  Welcome to the center stage Chris!

What we like: Chris created an easy to read set of maps that clearly portrayed all of the required data. We really liked his color and layering choices as well as the identification of the DOQQ location within the county. Great job!

"This week's assignment was to retrieve several layers for counties in Florida. I was assigned Pinellas county. Finding the data wasn't difficult since most everything we needed is on FGDL and LABINS, although I did explore a few other sites including the Census Bureau, but ultimately downloaded everything from the first two sites. Initially, I downloaded, projected and clipped all my data, but was unsure how I wanted to organize this. I started by playing with a large map (36x36) using multiple data frames, but thought it was too cluttered, so I settled on individual maps showing less information.

I used a hillshade I made for all the maps and set most of the layers to be a little transparent. There isn't much elevation in Pinellas, but there is a little so it gives the map some texture. I also found that raster clip doesn't do a very good job so I used extract by mask to clean up all the rasters as well. I also made a mask to help clean everything up by erasing the boundary of Pinellas from a rectangle polygon. I also briefly considered finishing these in Illustrator, but spent all weekend getting this far and am tired of looking at Pinellas county right now. The maps are 14" x 8", so if they aren't legible open them in another browser window so you can zoom in."

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