Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Final Countdown

 Today I officially finished my final project for Introduction to GIS. For my project I had to work as a GIS Analyst hired by the Florida Power Line. In the project I was given a proposed location for a transmission line. Based on the location, use of supplied files, and researching for files on my own I had to determine if the location for the transmission line was an ideal location. Four major objectives were the decision-determining factors. These included:

1.) The transmission line's impact on environmentally sensitive lands
2.) House proximity to the transmission line
3.) School and daycare proximity to the transmission line
4.) Transmission line length and cost

 I had to incorporate what I have been learning in the last couple of weeks into this lab. I also had to learn how to do new stuff to be able to complete some of my analyses, such as creating a center line. For this project I also had to give a presentation explaining what I did for my project and why. Although the directions were a little vague I really enjoyed doing this project. Attached below is a link to my presentation with a slide narrative to follow. I hope you all enjoy! 

Slide-By-Slide Overview

Monday, April 3, 2017

Georeferencing, Editing, & ArcScene

  This week covered georeferencing, editing of the data to properly match layers, and how to use ArcScene to create a 3-D image. Georeferencing is putting data images where they belong. In this project we were given two different .jpg photos of University of West Florida. With the use of georeferencing we had to line up a .gdb database of all the buildings with the pictures. At first it was a struggle but then I was able to line them up with a relatively low measurement of error. In this week we also learned how to Hyperlink data into GIS and buffer the information. For this project I had to hyperlink a photo to the eagle's nest data and create a 330 ft. and 660 ft. buffer around the nest.
  The final part of this week's lab was to create a 3D image. It was my first time using ArcScene but it was relatively easy. I elevated the buildings through vertical exaggeration to make them rise higher from the map. I had a little bit of trouble with highlighting an individual building. But then I quickly resolved it by adding a layer offset of 0.1 to it. When finishing the map I did not add the normal elements such as north arrow, reference info, and scale bar because the layer cannot easily be given a spatial reference.
  Overall the project was relatively by the book. There were a few things I had to tweak to make my maps more agreeable but I am very proud of the result. Both maps display the UWF campus, one in normal 2D and the other in 3D.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Geocoding, Network Analyst, and Model Builder

  Week 12's lab assignment covered how to geocode, us the Network Analyst Extension, and provided an introduction to ModelBuilder. The focus was to match addresses and optimal routes of EMS stations within Lake County, Fl while working with stream networks.
   The first step was geocoding by address matching. This proved to be harder than originally planned because a lot of times addresses wouldn't match up. Even when I tried to match addresses myself through a map the map sometimes wouldn't even acknowledge any address on an entire street! Once all my addresses were matched up I had to complete a route analysis using Network Analyst Extension. This was a more enjoyable section of the lab and very easy to follow. The last section was not a pleasant one. Issues with the data files caused for ArcGIS ModelBuilder to not function correctly. It took me having to recreate entire files to get the program to work. Although it was tedious, on the bright side I learned another skill in GIS! Although this lab took quite a long time (part of it due to faulty files and hard drive issues), I feel that I gained a lot of experience with multiple tools.
   The map above is the end result of geocoding and using Network Analyst Extension. I was able to locate all EMS stations within Lake County. I was also able to create optimal travel routes among different EMS stations. In the zoomed in map to the right shows the optimal routes between Stations 221, 241, and 141.

Vector Analysis: Buffering and Overlaying

This weeks class was learning to use two of the most common modeling tools in ArcGIS (buffer and overlay) and beginner programing in Python. The project started out with creating a script in Python (ArcPy) to run the buffer tool. I then had to analyze vector data through spatial queries. For this project I created multiple data frames with different spatial queries. I'm pretty confident I have that skill down now! Afterwards I used the overlay tool to learn how to combine and/or exclude multiple features. Once I had created all the spatial queries with the help of the buffer tool and excluded/included different features in my map, I then converted it into single part layer. The single part layer allows me to collect spatial data including all the exclusions and inclusions that I wanted to consider in my map.

The map above shows potential campground sites in DeSoto National Forest Mississippi. To the right of the map you see Campsite Properties. This map was created as a result of buffering and overlaying that allowed to create the specialized requirements! I really enjoyed this project a lot. Being a big camper myself, I might even take this map to DeSoto National Forest myself!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Data Search: Bringing It All Together

 This Midterm Assignment was bringing in everything we have been doing the past few weeks all together in one large project. Each individual was assigned a Florida county and had to fulfill the requirements of five vector data layers, two environmental layers, and two raster data sets, bringing all of the layers together to format 1-3 maps on ArcMap.
 I was fortunate enough to be assigned my hometown of Monroe County. I really enjoyed being able to do the work on my home but it definitely came with some road blocks. My first mistake was not re-projecting all my data before performing anything else to it. Definitely learned the valuable lesson to always re-project before you clip or change the attributes! When it came to data layers I struggled with choosing certain attributes that were required, Monroe County being pretty unique (consisting of the Keys and the Everglades). A lot of the attributes were hard to put down because it would flood my county with information (like hydrography and environmental layers like wetlands and exotic invasive plants). I definitely had to do some tweaking. I also had a little bit of trouble with the projections of the layers as well.
  All in all though I feel that I came out of this project with much more experience. I'm glad I came into the trouble I had because I learned new tricks that I probably wouldn't have learned a few weeks down the road.

What Each Map Displays:
Map 1: Mangrove coverage, parks, hydrographic landmarks, cities, US Highway 1, aerial quadrant of a section of the keys
Map 2: Exotic invasive plants, parks, US Highway 1
Map 3: Digital elevation model of land cover, hydrographic landmarks, cities, US Highway 1

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Projections Part 2

This week we went further into Projections to learn how to re-project and define data. In this project I had to take different types of data and learn to change the projections to make the map more in unison for viewers.  The picture above is a screen shot of my end results, displaying:

  • an XY data sheet (EscambiaSTCM_SP)
  • major roads data downloaded from (majrds_oct16_sp) 
  • County Boundaries from (cntbnd_sep15_sp)
  • a quadrant of Northern Florida (quad_sp)
  • 4 quarters of the quad 5259, which represents West Pensacola, FL 
    • q5259ne.sid
    • q5259nw.sid
    • q5259se.sid
    • q5259sw.sid
The overall step by step protocol was not hard to follow with the lab manual. However, I did have a few glitches with the program when it came to re-projecting my data. When you re-project data a new file is created with the new projection. Normally ArcMap automatically asks you if you want to switch from your old file to your new file (in this case all my new files were in State Plane). Mine however did not do that. Fortunately with the help of two T.A.'s we were able to figure out the problem though and manually incorporate my new files. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017


   This week I learned how ArcMap transformation tools can be used to transform and project GIS data. When obtaining GIS data, it often has to be transformed or projected to change it from a three-dimensional surface to a flat map sheet. Different projections can change the shape of your map as well. When I was doing this project, all three of my maps were slightly different in size and area. This can be seen at the table underneath the three maps. In the table the same counties have different areas because they were three different projected coordinate systems.

   I enjoyed this project a lot because it helped me to master some of the more common tools in ArcMAP. Simple things like labeling, sizing of the maps, and color coding became a lot easier compared to past lab exercises. The only struggle I had was with my files not being saved to the proper computer drive. I had to go back a few steps to fix that issue. But on the brighter side I moved through all the steps at a much faster rate, knowing how to properly perform certain activities without having to look at the lab tutorial.