Monday, April 15, 2013

GIS4043 Introduction to GIS Student Spotlight- Vector 2

GIS4043 Introduction to GIS, Instructor, Mrs. Amber Bloechle

Vector 2

In this lab we did the following to produce a final map of potential campsite locations:

  • Created a simple buffer around road features
  • Createed a variable distance buffer around water features
  • Created our own scripts to run the buffer tool using ArcPython
  • Ran the overlay tool to combine or exclude multiple features
  • Distinguished and converted between multipart and singlepart layers

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Define and use two of the most common modeling tools in ArcGIS: buffer and overlay
  • Identify available buffer modeling tools in ArcGIS software
  • Use the Dissolve tool to merge overlapping borders of buffer zones
  • Create a script in ArcPy to run the buffer tool
  • Recall when it is beneficial to run an ArcPy script vs. the actual tool
  • Analyze vector data using spatial queries
  • Create a simple buffer around vector features
  • Create a variable distance buffer around polygon features
  • Determine when to implement a compound or variable buffer
  • Identify the 6 overlay operations available and recall when to use each
  • Use the overlay modeling tool to combine or exclude multiple features
  • Distinguish between multipart and singlepart layers and convert between the two
  • Find potential sites using provided criteria for a new campground
  • Create a report that explains data being utilized in the GIS project (metadata), answers important questions, and summarizes the process of creating exercises deliverables from beginning to end
  • Explain the difference between attribute and location queries
  • Quantify and explain the difference between results derived from buffer and overlay operations


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Vector 2 assignment:

Ellen Markin

About Ellen: Returning to the spotlight is Ellen.  She held the coveted title earlier in the semester for Cartography, and is now making waves in Intro 2 GIS.  Ellen lives in Reno, Nevada and works as a GIS Specialist for a cultural resource management firm. Welcome back Ellen - don't forget your shades.  The spotlight can be bright!

What we like: Ellen utilized her resources by overlaying her data onto an ESRI basemap to create an interesting, yet easy to interpret, map. We also liked that she kept her essential map elements simple and user friend and included the area of interest in her title. Great job Ellen!

Possible Campground locations.

"We were given a File Geodatabase containing layers representing hydrography (rivers and lakes), roads, and conservation areas with the goal of locating possible campground sites using specific criteria. The hydrography and roads layers were buffered in the initial step. The areas that overlapped were then chosen using the overlay tools. The conservation areas were then erased from the remaining areas. My map shows the final areas after analysis. For the display of the data (map) I thought a plain map was uninformative. I added the Esri World topographic base map to give the map a more interesting background."

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills Student Spotlight- Isoline Mapping Lab

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills, Instructor, Mrs. Trisha Holtzclaw

Isoline Mapping

In this lab we created an isohyet map illustrating mean annual precipitation for the state of Georgia.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Distinguish between true point vs conceptual point data
  • Compare/Contrast manual vs automated interpolation methods
    • Triangulation
    • Inverse-distance
    • Kriging
  • Examine the different types of symbolization
  • Manually interpolate point data into contour lines
  • Create contour lines in ArcGIS using automated interpolation techniques
  • Draw isolines using Adobe Illustrator


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Isoline Mapping assignment:

Brendan White

About Brendan: Brendan lives in southern NJ and works for a civil engineering/land surveying company.  His company has a strong interests in developing a GIS department and we are sure that Brendan is up for the task.  He spends a lot of time working with government contracts which are starting to have more and more GIS deliverables.  Welcome to the spotlight Brendan, you are in the right place.

What we like: His map was simple and to the point. He did an excellent job with his layout and made a grey scale map look polished and professional. Excellent job Brendan!

"The map was submitted for the week nine lab in the cartographic skills class. This was an exercise in the use of the pen and pencil tool in Illustrator. Moreover the goal was to understand how to interpolate a map of points, turning it into contours."

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills Student Spotlight- Proportional Symbols Mapping

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills, Instructor, Mrs. Trisha Holtzclaw

Proportional Symbols Mapping 

This week we used the Query Builder to isolate data in ArcMap  and created proportional symbols in both ArcMap and AI. We also calculated proportional symbol size using mathematical scaling method and used custom symbol templates in ArcMap and AI. Additionally, there was the option to create circular labels in AI.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Complete a base map in ArcGIS
  • Calculate proportional circle diameters utilizing the mathematical scaling method
  • Construct a proportional circle map utilizing proper mapping techniques

The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Proportional Symbols Mapping  assignment:

Lynne Johnson

About Lynne: Lynne joins us from Madison, Wisconsin. She has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and Journalism but is currently trying to get into Marine Conservation. She is hoping that this GIS certificate program will give her a little push in the right direction. I think you've come to the right place. Welcome to the spotlight! :)

What we like: Lynne's maps were simple, to the point, and overall visually pleasing. We like the color scheme chosen and the clear, easy to read labels. She provided precisely what we wanted from this lab. Great job!

"In this weeks lab, we explored proportional symbol maps and different ways to portray information.  In the above map, Figure 1, you can see how cluttered it is.  It was a very basic map, almost thrown together.  The main purpose of this map is to show one way of using a proportional symbol.  The circle sizes are directly related to how much wine (by 1000's of liters) was consumed in Europe in 2010.  We had the options of using a solid circle, hollow circle or with a symbol of a wine bottle.  While the bottle itself was neat, it proved to be misleading and confusing.  I decided to go with the hollow circle because I thought it was easiest to understand."

"In Figure 2, we zoomed up to contain mostly western Europe.  This makes it easier to decipher the countries.  As for the symbol that was used, it's a combination of a solid (yet transparent) circle with a wine bottle graphic.  Again, the size of the bottle and circle were proportional to the amount of wine consumed in that country in the year 2010.  I learned a lot during this lab and can see how transparency, proportional symbols and an area specific map can really turn things around!"