Monday, April 13, 2015

Student Spotlight - Cartographic Skills, 4/6/15-4/17/15

GIS 3015/L Cartographic Skills
Penelope Mitchell, Instructor

Congratulations to Lucas Milheiser  for being selected as this week's student spotlight!  Check out Lucas' blog here - Adventures in Cartography.   Lucas is originally from Wisconsin, but currently lives in Nebraska. He works for the Bureau of Reclamation as a Natural Resource Specialist were his job duties primarily involve land management of the Federal Estate in both Nebraska and Kansas (Permits, trespass resolution, agricultural land classification, etc.) In addition to that, Lucas also works a few days a month as a Geospatial-Intelligence Analyst in the Air Force Reserves. While this position has given him a basic understanding of GIS, the exposure to civilian software such as ArcGIS is a new topic.

Away from the Bureau and Air Force Reserves, Lucas is a proud dad to 4 children, ages, 4,3,2, and a newborn.  Whew ~ Lucas, you are one busy guy!!  Welcome to the spotlight and congratulations on being the best of best this week.  You rock!!

Module 9: Flow Line Mapping

Module 9 required students to undertake Flow Line Mapping.  Flow maps utilize lines of varying width to depict the movement of phenomena between geographic locations.  Students utilized Corel draw to create a distributive flow map to illustrate global immigration figures into the United States.  Lab materials provided base maps produced in ArcMap, and left students with the task of rearranging continents and creating proportional flow lines and corresponding legends in accordance with design principles.

Lab Learning Outcomes:
  • Assess design issues for flow line mapping
  • Calculate proportional line widths using excel
  • Construct flow line map using proper design techniques
  • Apply style and visual effects in CorelDRAW

Lucas stood out as a spotlight due to the originality in his work.  He demonstrated proficiency with graphic design software CorelDraw by fully utilizing the software capabilities to leverage the geographic content of his map.  You may already notice the difference in his map--he strayed from the conventional globe layout, moving far Eastern continents to the left side of the map page to allow preferred placement of the flow lines.  To clarify the augmentation, two ellipses were placed beneath the continents.  Lucas also did an excellent job creating smooth, curving, proportional lines without concealing any geographic information.  The color schemes chosen and drop shadow implemented work to promote figure ground distinction and establish proper visual hierarchy.  Nice job Lucas!

I would also like to give props to former spotlight, Alicia Lindbom, for a textbook perfect Flow Map--great effects, great lines, excellent design choices!  As well as to, Brandon Deusenberry for a great page layout, legend design, and beveling effects!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Student Spotlight - Introduction to GIS

GIS 4043/L Introduction to GIS
Amber Bloechle, Instructor

Congratulations to Kelly Broomfield for being selected as this week's student spotlight!  Check out Kelly's blog here - Kelly's Blog .  Kelly works at Hurlburt Field, Florida and serves with the United State Air Force.  He is a Geospatial Analyst who has a strong background in remote sensing.  By taking the GIS courses at UWF, Kelly hopes to increase his marketability and boost his geospatial skillset upon retirement from the service.  Welcome to the spotlight!  This was a doozy of a lab and you rocked it!!

Weeks 7 & 8 : Data Search Lab

The Data Search Lab brings all of the concepts that students have learned so far into one awesome project.  This lab can be quite stressful but in the end, students leave with a sense of pride that they have conquered the task of building a GIS project from scratch.  Here are the learning outcomes for the exercise.  

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

Kelly did an amazing job of displaying and presenting the data for this project. I really like that he took the time to make all of his maps look like they came from the same project and help tell a story.