Thursday, February 19, 2015

GIS4043- Projections Part II

What a week! This week we had a jumbo size lab that included last week's learning objectives and a new process using Excel.  The objectives were as follows:

- Explore and download aerials, topographic quadrangles, shapefiles and tabular xy data from two different online data sources for Florida
- Identify .sid and .swd files
- Define a spatial reference for an unknown data set
- Reproject GIS data to a common coordinate system and projection
- Recall the difference between defining and projecting a file
- Convert coordinates to decimal degrees in Excel
- View map scale, cursor coordinates and bing aerial basemap as a reference to determine if the defined projection is correct
- Identify UTM and state plane zones for a specific area
- Decipher Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code
- Create x,y data using Microsoft Excel and import to ArcGIS
- Identify workable Excel file formats for ArcGIS
- Locate important accuracy information regarding GIS/GPS data
- Determine if retaining the “seconds” measurement in a dataset is appropriate based on the accuracy of the data
- Relate coordinate values to the appropriate earth hemisphere and double check calculations make geographical sense
- Generate a map displaying aerials, topographic quads, shapefiles and tabular xy data

I feel like I've just gone 10 rounds with "Sugar Ray" (for those not aware, he was a World Champion boxer, not MMA-type, in the 1980s). Basically, the goal of this week's Lab was to Download-Define-"Re" Project data to make a nifty map. It was a tremendous amount of work...and I didn't even get paid for this!

Here's what I did:

-I Practiced Downloading Data and Defining Projections
-- I learned what a DOQQ was--Digital Orthographic Quarter-Quad--
--I was very confused with the instructions about the website:
Turns out Labins has updated their website and "things are different now..."
No problem, I found what I needed and pressed on..all is good
I also, spent a bunch of time, Defining the Spatial Reference...but I had forgot about the Hammer, I mean , tool "Project" from the ArcToolBox.  I re-found this and had a blast!
I downloaded some Topographic data and learned the definition of "Collars Removed."

Next. I downloaded the vector data, County Boundary, and Major Roads.  But, the most fun was working with an Excel Spreadsheet.  I got to convert Degree-Minutes-Seconds data into Decimal Degrees.  Not too difficult once you know the formula (I hear I will have to do this often in my GIS future--isn't there a program that does this for you?) I am so looking forward to a "future" in GIS!!

All in all a great, but very long, Lab.  Below is my Map.  I would say a Work of Art but I might be biased...

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