Saturday, January 31, 2015

GIS4043: Let's Do Some Sharing

The objectives for Lab 4, "ArcGIS Online and Map Packages",GIS 4043 were:
  • Add ArcGIS Online basemaps and data from ArcMap
  • Use the Search tool in ArcMap to locate ArcGIS Online data
  • Create group layers
  • Display layers at certain scales
  • Create a custom map package
  • Recall when to create a map package or a tile package
  • Troubleshoot map package errors
  • Share a map package on the web

The main purpose of this week's Lab was to become familiar with ArcGIS Online and sharing web maps, so that's what I did. Once again this was a fun exercise where I learned there are many ways to share your map creations via ArcGIS Online. But first, I had to create my ArcGIS Online account. A straight forward operation that was only slightly confusing until I realized I had access to both ESRI Traing and an ArcGIS online account. After signing up, I loaded up with a couple of Training modules (Creating and Sharing GIS Content Using ArcGIS Online and Creating and Sharing Map Packages in ArcGIS ) to complete this week's lab.I also had the opportunity to learn about and use an ESRI course code. I hope there will be many more course codes for us down the road and I look forward to any FREE webinars or other ESRI training.

Working with ArcGIS Online was not much different from using the ArcGIS Desktop that we have previously been using. In fact, I am hard-pressed to cite significant differences other than I was able to select "Share" online. In the process to create my map I added a description, tags and credits before "Sharing" but I learned that you could select the map and Un-Share from the My Content view and then add additional information or just not Share the map when creating it and then edit the information from the My Content view.  After completing my map, I used the “Share” option to make my map "Public." I selected "Everyone", however, it is nice to know that you can limit who you want to share maps with. You can also use the option to Share via a “Link” or on Social Media (Facebook or Twitter). After I selected who to Share with, I published the map; I then went from to “My Content” at: to view the map I had published. Initially, the map was not actually “Shared” with everyone as I thought it would be. I had to select “Share” again after opening the map in My Content. I used this procedure for both maps and I used the “Verify” to ensure my data was correct. All in all this was a great experience!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This week’s GIS3015 Lab exercise was to build a map that displayed Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Ward 7 of the District of Columbia. Our objectives were as follows:

·         Conceptualize and create maps according to need of end user

·         Establish and implement visual hierarchy to emphasize important map features

·         Apply contrast to map features to imply their relative importance

·         Employ figure ground to make important map features appear closer to the end user

·         Achieve map balance with the harmonious organization of map elements and empty space

·         Symbolize layers by category

·         Create an inset map and establish an extent indicator

For this Lab I had to re-learn how to make an “Inset” map. I also had to review “Clipping.”  The bulk of the work was to ensure we complied with the Gestalt’s Principles of perceptual organization- this sounds like a Psychology course now.  This was another fun exercise for me. I enjoyed playing with various symbols to represent the schools and changing the color schemes. I did go back to review the Using Color in Maps reference. The most interesting part of this exercise was experimenting with balance and color. I learned that an aesthetically pleasing map is well balanced; not having too many items on one side of the page. Also, color can be soothing or calming. I don't think I would have used "pink and grey" so easily before taking this course.  


Sunday, January 25, 2015

This week's Lab for GIS4043 was long and quite involved. We were charged to create and deliver not one, but three separate maps. We had to create and alter the symbology of our maps, utilize ArcCatalog, review elements of raster pyramids and compare and contrast raster and vector data files. The maps we were working with involved Latin America and more specifically, Mexico. We made one map depicting Population, another which depicted the Transportation systems of Mexico including, rivers, roads and rail lines. But my favorite map was the DEM (digital elevation model) of Mexico. Because the layer mex_elev, is a  raster file, the symbology properties look different. The selection of color ramps seemed endless but of course some colors make more sense than others, especially when referencing the, “Using Color in Maps (Georgina Strode, FSU Geography Department). The symbology below is interesting to me because the colors convey information and provide subtle hints regarding the terrain even if there wasn’t a Legend to tell you the values. I found this exercise very intriguing and I look forward to creating more DEM maps.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Make the Map Your Own GIS4034

This week's lab was quite an experience in creativity. For me, I learned that there are a ton of Resources available besides the commonly used tools in ArcGIS (still exploring those too). This lab allowed me to explore and use many features of ArcGIS, such as Insert, Neatline, Data Frame and Clip to Shape, but I know there are many more items I still need to master. I also did some exploration regarding Metadata, "data about other data",  but I think I need to review this area again. Finally, I learned about relative paths and absolute paths in map files. Below is my map for week 2 GIS4043.

GIS3015 Lab2, Introduction to Cartographic Design with CorelDraw X7

Module 2 GIS3015 Lab, Introduction to Cartographic Design with CorelDraw X7, was highly interesting and a lot of fun.  The objectives were:

-          Export a map from ArcGIS
-          Demonstrate competency in CorelDraw
-          Add/change basic map elements in CorelDraw
-          Export map as a .jpg file from CorelDraw

We explored CorelDraw X7 and I learned there are more tools (Dockers, draw Ellipse, Polygon, Freehand, Insert Image, Posterize, etc. etc. etc.)  to create and customize your map, than I could count. If I had the time, I would still be exploring the available icons, dropdowns, buttons, etc. on CorelDraw. The goal was to create a basic map of Florida for children and then enhance the map using CorelDraw 7X. There were several items we had to add, and some images we could select from.  Below, is the map I created: I started with the basic Topographical map of Florida in ArcMap and included cities, water sources, and counties.  I then exported the map as a .cpt file so I could manipulate the map using CorrelDraw X7. Using CorelDraw I made several changes and additions to my map including: added images using the Import dropdown command (the Florida State Flag, Florida Panther and the Mockingbird. I also imported images of the Cork Screw Sanctuary to identify Naples and I placed an image of the SeaWorld logo to identify Orlando); I used the draw a Star tool to add to the Capital of Florida and filled the star as Red; added a color border; updated the Legend to show a different symbol & color for cities; and I used the Posterize tool, because, what child doesn't like posters? The usual items such as name, date, title, legend and north arrow are also included.       

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I made a map!

Week 1 for GIS4043 was great! The Lab exercise was very useful in orienting me to ArcMap! Much more to learn, but this was a great start.

Monday, January 12, 2015

First Week 3015 - Maps: Good and Bad

Have you ever wondered what qualities make a map good or bad? Here are two brief examples.

Example of a well-designed map.

The above map is an example of graphical excellence and meets the conditions of several Tufteisms from The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. The map is well designed and interesting to look at (1); the map is multivariate (4) in that it includes, colors, lines, numbers and names to identify the data; and the map contains clear, thorough and detailed labels that make this easy to understand (7).

2. Example of a poorly-designed map.

This is an example of a poorly designed map. It lacks graphical excellence in that it is not interesting (1); the information is not clearly communicated (2); the map has only one idea to communicate (3) and it does a poor job at that; and finally, the labeling of this map is terribly lacking(7).

Saturday, January 10, 2015

First week--Meet Your Classmates

This was an incredible first week...and not over yet.  I learned a lot about ArcGis by simply discovering there was an app for the "My Story" portion of this week's "Meet Your Classmates", discussion.  I am very excited about starting this course and I can all ready tell I will be logging large quantities of hours on my computer; but that will be fun. As I say in My Raven Story, I have traveled the country if not the world in my 20+ years in the Air Force. It's time to follow a slightly different path (some might say it is a remarkably similar path...) and I am excited to do that studying at UWF and learning more about the GIS world.
Below is the link to My Raven Story...enjoy

My Raven Story