Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Applications in GIS Student Spotlights!

GIS4048 Applications in GIS, Mrs. Penelope Mitchell

Natural Hazards- Lahars

The Scenario: We were hired as a private consultant to identify potential inundation zones for the Mt. Hood, Oregon area. Our goal was to use 2011 USGS 30M Digital Elevation Models (topography) and the Hydrology Tools found within ESRI’s Spatial Analyst Extension to determine drainage flow in a potential crisis situation.  After determining the streams we used newly released 2010 US Census Data to create a population analysis for the areas in proximity to the drainage areas.  These findings will aid local and state officials in hazard planning and response time.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Define Default Geodatabase
  • Create data using the Go to XY tool and Convert Graphics Feature
  • Explore Spatial Analyst (SA) extension
  • Prepare data for processing in a geodatabase including, but not limited to, proper nomenclature.
  • Perform a raster mosaic using ArcToolbox
  • Conduct analysis using the Hydrology Toolset in the SA extension
  • Identify potential inundation areas during a lahar event
  • Identify Census Block Groups
  • Perform location analysis based on distance
  • Identify population areas using attribute table data
  • Assess hazard areas using Select by Location and buffer tools
  • Create multiple deliverables based on findings

The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Natural Hazard- Lahars assignment:

Rena Lautzenheiser 

About Rena: Rena's journey into cartography started years ago (post-Columbus, pre-AutoCAD), back when topo maps were still drawn by hand. She has a bachelor's degree in Land Surveying and worked for several years in surveying and construction for private companies and the National Park Service. She then took a break from that work to become a mom and a teacher. Ten years ago, she resumed surveying in the summers for the Bureau of Land Management in Montana, working mainly with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and on projects such as mining claims, river surveys, and dinosaur digs. Rena's past exposure to GIS was mainly as a resource for her surveying needs. Not she is looking forward to being on the creation side of GIS and hopes that completion of this program will lead to more exciting opportunities in the future. Congratulations on making it back on the spotlight, Rena!

What we like: Rena produced a great map layout and design! She included a strong title and subtitle. This is an example of an excellent use of map space. The mapped area is maximized by consolidating the map's information to one area of the map (bottom of page in this case). The map employs effective and aesthetically pleasing color scheme. The background information is clear yet subtle The population magnitude is clearly displayed with the increasing color intensity from yellow to red. She did a great job on the labels (i.e. observe how the rivers are labeled on a path). Rena also provided adequate map information--projection, cartographer, data sources, etc. Lastly, we really liked the supplemental text on the map to provide more information to the end user. Keep up the good work, Rena!

GIS4048 Applications in GIS, Mrs. Penelope Mitchell

Natural Hazards- Tsunamis

This week's lab put us in the seat and mind-set of a GIS professional assisting with disaster relief. As part of our task for this lab, we were directed to map the evacuation zones around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and determine the at-risk population within each of those zones.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Work with GIS data and information relevant to response and recovery efforts of the Japan Tsunami
  • Compile important information from provided Japan Tsunami background materials
  • Understand, create, and work from a file geodatabase, feature datasets, and mosaic raster dataset within ArcCatalog
  • Review basics of digital elevation models
  • Recall how to create a shapefile by importing XY excel data.
  • Apply GIS query and selection operations to calculate estimates of evacuation populations.
  • Use ArcGIS multi-ring buffer and clip tools to create evacuation zones surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Create a VB expression to label features by two fields from the same data layer.
  • Utilize GIS tools and the ArcGIS ModelBuilder together with elevation data to automate the process of tsunami hazard and evacuation zone mapping.
  • Use GIS overlay operations within ArcGIS ModelBuilder to combine tsunami hazard zones with roads, nuclear power plants, and city population data.
  • Summarize analysis results and related findings utilizing tables.
  • Paraphrase ArcGIS tools, steps and data required to create a file geodatabase.
  • Compile results to create a polished radiation and tsunami runup evacuation map, highlighting critical infrastructure and affected populations.


The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Natural Hazards- Tsunamis assignment:

Aaron Garibaldi 

About Name: Aaron works as a Digital Orthophoto Technician at a GIS / mapping company in St. Louis, MO and has been doing this for eight years.  He loves maps and geography, along with learning ways to utilize them in solving real world problems.  Aaron uses GIS in his every day work, and feels that now the time is right to expand his knowledge and career with this Certificate from UWF. Welcome to the back to the spotlight, Aaron!

What we like: This is another good example of an excellent use of map space. Analysis was performed correctly. Most importantly, the results were displayed clearly making it obvious as to what each map represents. We especially liked the use of x's to indicate closed cities in a subtle, yet profound, way. Aaron also listed all proper data sources. Way to rock it, Aaron!

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