Thursday, July 30, 2015

GIS Online Student Spotlight - Natalie Gusack

Congratulations to Natalie Gusack on being named GIS Online Student Spotlight for her outstanding leadership in GIS Programming (GIS 5103).  

Natalie (far right) and family at a Texas Tech football game.
Welcome to the spotlight Natalie! You have been selected as student spotlight this week for your willingness to help others in the course and serve as a beacon of "light" to students in need.  As a graduate student in the GIS Online Program, we are thrilled with your progress in this course as well as getting a head start on your internship.  Congratulations and keep up the great work! 

To follow Natalie's work throughout the program, check out her blog at GIS Adventures.

Module 8: Geoprocessing with Python (cont.)
Instructor: Dr. Derek Morgan 
Over the past couple of modules students have worked with spatial data models using the Python Programming skills that they have been refining all semester. Module 8 introduced students to methods for programmatically reading and writing vector geospatial data (aka geometries). The topic of this module is integral to GIS programming.

Student Leaning Outcomes:
  • Work with geometry objects, multipart features, polygons with holes, raster objects, and the ArcPy Spatial Analyst module
  • Read and write geometries
  • Use cursors to set the spatial reference
  • Use geometry objects to work with geoprocessing tools
  • Accessing feature vertices

  • Understanding different types of cursors

What we like: Natalie is excelling in tackling these essential topics! Her blog post illustrates her experience during this part of the course. Further, Natalie has been an important part of the weekly virtual office hour discussions. Her questions and professionalism serve as an excellent example to others on how to positively communicate in a group setting. Along with being a student at UWF she is a Pathways Student Intern for the Tampa Bay National Weather Service (NWS) Office. As a graduate student she is planning to bring some of her internship experience to the classroom by applying some of what she is learning at her internship (Rainfall in forecast polygons) to the topic of GIS Programming.

Friday, July 24, 2015

GIS Online Student Spotlight - Ty Evans

Congratulations to Ty Evans on being named GIS Online Student Spotlight for his outstanding work in Applications in GIS (GIS 4800).  

Welcome to the spotlight Ty and for a record 3rd time! Ty is currently a student in our undergraduate certificate program and lives in Nevada. He has a background in archaeology and joined GIS Online with hopes to complement his education and eventually land a job with a government agency like the National Park Service. Ty earned his graduate level GIS Certificate in Archaeology last fall and came back this summer to enroll in the traditional GIS applications course.  Ty completed his GIS Internship in Fall 2014 with the Bureau of Land Management/Red Rock Canyon and did an outstanding job.  Great job this week Ty - no bones about it!!

To follow Ty's work throughout the program, check out his blog at Ty's GIS

Module 9: GIS for Local Government
Instructor: Penelope Mitchell

The GIS for Local Government lab put students in the shoes of a municipal government GIS technician. Two typical scenarios were developed to enhance their GIS skillset: Activities included obtaining parcel data from a county government GIS site and creating a parcel report in the form of a map book using data driven pages as well as a corresponding attribute report containing requested parcel information. The other scenario involved advanced parcel editing and spatial querying based on specific criteria to identify suitable locations for a new Extension office.
Student Leaning Outcomes:

  • Query and download data from a county website.
  • Define and identify a property based on Zoning id, Parcel number and Section, Township and Range.
  • Utilize the Parcel Data editing tool.
  • Create maps with dynamic text.
  • Create data driven pages.
  • Create a locator map for a map book.
  • Generate and stylize an attribute report
  • Update parcel geometry and attributes.
  • Work with multi-part parcels including merging and splitting parcels.
  • Manage parcel history.
  • Create new parcels by legal description using the Parcel Editor and Feature Construction Toolbar.
  • Identify parcels using location searches and attribute queries.
  • Produce acreage values with the Calculate Geometry tool.

Ty’s mapbook stood out as a spotlight for its neatness and thus its ability to communicate information easily. The legend only includes essentials, but does not skimp on useful information such as zoning code definitions. The map does not contain unnecessary or redundant labels, potentially leaving room for other requested information. The locator map’s transparency is set for clear viewing of underlying reference features. The red and orange symbology for parcels of interest adequately draws attention where its needed. Outstanding job Ty!!

Figure 1: Page 6 from a 16 page map book depicting all parcels within 0.25 miles of the Zuko parcel and the associated zoning.
Ty's Tips:  "Of all the tools we have explored in this course, it is Data Driven Pages that I most wish I had understood for my internship and volunteer experience. Many tasks would have been much simpler had I known how to use this tool. I am certain this knowledge will be useful in the future."  I feel your pain - Ty!  - Leah

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

GIS Online Student Spotlight - Gail Sease

Congratulations to Gail Sease on being named GIS Online Student Spotlight for her outstanding work in GIS Programming (GIS 5103).  


Welcome to the spotlight Gail! Summer 2015 is Gail's final semester in the Graduate GIS Certificate Program.  She has been a dedicated member of our student body for the past few semesters and I know we will all miss her!  Outside the certificate program, Gail works as a geologist in California.  During her internship this past spring, she worked with her dad's small mineral exploration company analyzing geographic data.  Welcome to the spotlight Gail - you rock!  Hehe :)

To follow Gail's work throughout the program, check out her blog at Gail's GIS Blog.

Module 6: Geoprocessing with Python
Instructor: Dr. Derek Morgan

This week, students built on previous exercises and wrote their first GIS python script purely from scratch. This script added XY coordinates to a shapefile, created a buffer around these points, then executed a dissolve on the buffer to create a single feature layer. Additionally, they learned to utilize the GetMessages() function to return geoprocessing messages.

Student Leaning Outcomes:

  • Adjust your geoprocessing environment
  • Run geoprocessing functions within ArcMap via Python
  • Use geoprocessing parameters and variables programmatically
  • Distinguish syntax signature between ArcPy functions and classes
  • Using geoprocessing tools
  • Getting help with tool syntax
  • Explore ArcPy functions and classes
  • Control environment settings
  • Work with tool messages
  • Work with licenses

Gail successfully completed all parts of the assignment with flying colors! Her blog post is extremely detailed and something to be proud of and she did a great job describing the steps taken to complete this module. Within her blog post she took the time to position informative figures (screenshot images) that correspond well with her textual descriptions of the steps she took. While doing this she gave each figure is given an informative label. Gail has also been a helpful presence on the discussion board helping her fellow students. Along with answering other student questions from her own coursework experience, she has provided helpful feedback that has helped to keep discussions moving in a positive direction.

Next week, we will spotlight a student from GIS 4048 - Applications in GIS, Instructor:  Penelope Mitchell. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

GIS Online Student Spotlight - Heather Moncrief

Congratulations to Heather Moncrief on being named GIS Online Student Spotlight for her outstanding work in Applications in GIS (GIS 5100).  


Welcome to the spotlight Heather!  Heather is a graduate student in the Biology Department here at UWF and will earn her MS in Biology at the end of the summer.  Go Heather go!!  When not in class, she works as an OPS Fish and Wildlife Technician with Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC).  At work she conducts surveys and performs biological sampling for recreational fishing.  Heather is quite busy with school, work, and volunteering with a non-profit in California where she looks at sevengill shark populations.    Heather - you have done an awesome job this week and we welcome you to the spotlight club.  Hopefully, you will have some time to relax this holiday weekend!

To follow Heather's work throughout the program, check out her blog at GIS Journey.


Week 3:  Watershed Analysis

Instructor:  Dr. Paul Zandbergen

In this lab assignment students completed all the steps necessary to delineate streams and watersheds from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Upon completion, students were able to compare the results produced from automated delineation with aerial imagery and assess accuracy.

Student Leaning Outcomes:
  • Become familiar typical procedures for stream and watershed delineation
  • Examine how a hydrologically correct DEM differs from an unprocessed DEM
  • Understand how flow direction and flow accumulation concepts are implemented in a raster environment, and used to create streams segment and catchment
  • Analyze differences in linear and area objects in vector and raster

For the final cartographic product students produced a map comparing the modeled streams and watersheds with the existing streams and watersheds. Heather’s submission went above and beyond on the craftsmanship. Her symbology maintained a high contrast to the DEM in the background, and her use of a drop shadow really made those data frames stand out! In terms of typography, the use of blue to denote water bodies and a halo around Kuauai were excellent choices. Ultimately these subtle design decisions were what set her submission apart! Awesome work Heather!

Next week, we will spotlight a student from GIS 4102 - GIS Programming taught by Dr. Derek Morgan.