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GEOG4/6370 Lab 2: Present Geographic Data in ArcGIS

Part 1: Windows Explorer v. ArcCatalog

Download your data from the eLC using the instructions from Lab 1, save to Desktop,
and remember to save/backup your work on your own memory device when finished
with this lab.

Before we go to ArcMap or ArcCatalog, simply open the folder that contains the Lab 2
data. You are using Windows Explorer to view inside this folder. You should see 21
separate files.

Click Tools at the top of the window.

In the Tools menu, click Folder Options.

In the Folder Options window, select the View tab.

Scroll to down under Advanced settings until you see Hide extensions for known file
types.

Be sure to deselect (uncheck) the Hide extensions for known file types.

Click OK.

At the end of all these little files are the extensions that show
what types of files these are. There are .shp, .shx, .dbf, etc. (see
right). What is critical to understand is that shapefiles, one of
the most common forms of files used in ESRI software programs,
is not just the .shp file. A shapefile is a group of at least 3 files
the ones listed above that come together in the GIS software to
make something that we can see and that has meaning.

When you are copying data, its not safe to select individual files
and paste them elsewhere. Its highly recommended to copy and
paste the folders that contain these small files, because if one
little file is lost, either information will be missing or the GIS
software simply cannot work with the data.

Windows Explorer only sees all these little separate files, but
whats so cool about ESRIs ArcCatalog is that it recognizes and
puts these files together.

Close the lab2_data folder window, and open ArcCatalog.

If you still have a Folder Connection in the Catalog Tree for your lab1_data, you may
right click on the connection and select Disconnect Folder. This does not delete your

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data. Its still there on the computer, but it will help you not get
confused with the next connection you are about to make. Connect to
your lab2_data folder, and take a look at the contents. There are no
longer 21 separate files. There appear to be only 7 files (see right).
This is because ArcCatalog recognized certain combinations of file
types of the same name.

When you were in Windows Explorer looking at the contents of the


folder, you may have noticed that there were several files with the same name but
different extensions. Those files with the same names are the ones that have been put
together in ArcCatalog. However, if you changed one of the names in Windows
Explorer, ArcCatalog wouldnt recognize which files to put together.

If you need to rename files, its best to do that in ArcCatalog. Similarly, if you need to
move individual files to different folders, its also best to do that in ArcCatalog.
ArcCatalog is THE place for data management and organization. Be sure to take time to
organize your files for labs and any future projects you may do. You dont want to get
confused! End part 1. Q1-3

Part 2: Some Tips for Preparing Data before Use

Preview the data in Arc Catalog by first expanding your lab2_data folder. Select the
Previous tab. If you have not selected a shapefile, you may see a message that says, The
selection cannot be previewed. Select any of the seven files in your lab2_data folder.

The icons represent different types of files. There are point shapefiles , line shapefiles
, polygon shapefiles , and database files (tables) included in our data for this
lab. Be sure to previous both the geography and the tables for the shapefiles. For the
database files (tables), there is no geography to preview.

Next were going to create thumbnails of those files that have geography for quick
reference.

1. First, preview the geography of the roads (tgr23059lkA.shp).


2. Use the zoom in button to zoom into the downtown Athens area.
3. Take a snapshot of the downtown Athens area by clicking the thumbnail button
. Youve just made a thumbnail image that can be displayed when viewing the
contents of a folder as thumbnails.
4. Now were going to see if the thumbnail displays correctly.

5. Switch from Preview to Contents (see right).


6. You should see a thumbnail image in the display window.
Make thumbnails of the other three shapefiles (a point shapefile and two polygon
shapefiles) by following the same steps above. Tip: You may need to zoom back out to

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capture the other thumbnails. You can use the zoom out tool , or you can just click
the Full Extent button .

When you are finished, you can see all your thumbnails together by viewing the contents
of the folder instead of the individual files. We can do this by doing the following:

Make sure that Contents is still selected.

In the Catalog Tree, select your lab2_data folder to view its contents in Contents.

In your Standard toolbar ,


there are several different ways that you can
display the contents of the lab2_data folder. 1 2 3 4

1 Large Icons 2 List 3 Details 4 Thumbnails

Click the Thumbnails


button. Your shapefiles
should now be displayed
as thumbnails with the
captured images
displayed rather than the
shapefile icons. The
database files must keep
their icons, because they
cannot be captured with
the thumbnail tool. End
part 2. Q4

Part 3: Add Data into


ArcMap and Rename

Launch ArcMap by selecting the ArcMap button in ArcCatalog. (This button is


different from the Full Extent button, because it has a magnifying glass in front.)

You can close ArcCatalog.

When the ArcMap Getting Started window pops up, simply select Blank Map and
click OK. Well be starting from scratch this time, rather than open a map document
(.mxd) like we did in Lab1.

Add the four shapefiles to your map. You can open ArcCatalog within ArcMap and drag
and drop your files, or you can use the Add Data button to open your lab2_data
folder and select the four shapefiles. Using the Add Data button might be faster,

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because you can hold down the control key on your keyboard
and select all four files and open them together.

You should be able to see four layers in your Table of Contents (see
right). However, the names of the files might not make a lot of
sense. Were going to rename all four layers, and were also going
to rename our Data Frame, which in this case is Layers.

Lets start with our Data Frame. Were looking at Athens Clarke
County, so lets call it that. The quickest way to rename the Data
Frame is to click on it twice slowly. If you double click it fast as usual, youll open Data
Frame Properties. If Data Frame Properties opens, just close it. We dont need it right
now.

Once you have slow double clicked Layers, a box will appear around it, and the
word Layers will be highlighted. Simply type in the new name, Athens Clarke
County and press Enter.

Rename cultural13059 as Cultural Features by the same method.


Rename tgr13059lkA as Roads.
Rename tgr13059cty00 as County.
Rename tgr13059trt00 as Census Tracts.

If you discover that your County layer is above your Census


Tracts layer, switch them by clicking and dragging as
appropriate. You cannot see the individual census tracts if the
county boundary is on top. Your Table of Contents should
now be appropriately renamed to something meaningful and
in the correct order (see right). End part 3. Q5

Part 4: Save Your Work and Continue Working

Save your work by clicking File and clicking Save As. If you have saved your
lab2_data folder to the Desktop as recommended, navigate to the Desktop and open
your lab2_data folder. This is the most appropriate place to save your map document,
since this is where the maps data is stored. Save your map document as lab2.mxd.

IMPORTANT NOTE! Frequently save your work as you continue working. It is not
unusual for ArcMap to freeze and/or stop running, and if this occurs, any unsaved work
you have performed since the last time you saved your
work will be LOST. You will have to redo whatever you
have not saved.

Good ways of preventing ArcMap from crashing are to not


keep too many windows open at once on your computer.
Definitely dont try to run too many programs at once.
Also, sometimes it takes time for ArcMap to finish a

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process. Give the process time to run its course before trying to get it started doing
something else while youre waiting. You can usually see the progress of a running
process at the bottom of the screen. End note.

If you move your cursor around the map area, you can read the cursor positions from
the bottom right of ArcMap. In this example, , you can read
longitude and latitude since our data is in decimal degrees, not projected to any
projection.

From the Table of Contents, right click on the Cultural Features layer and click Open
Attribute Table. The map side and the table side have a one-to-one relationship; each
spatial feature on the map has a record in the table AND each record in the table has a
spatial feature on the map.

While the attribute table is open, look for your


Tools toolbar. It should contain a nice
collection of tools, such as Zoom In, Zoom Out,
Pan, Full Extent, etc. (see right).

If you hover your mouse over each tool without clicking, youll see a little square bubble
pop up under your mouse to tell you then name of the tool. Find the Identify tool and
click it. Next to your mouse will be a black circle with a lower case i inside it.

Click something in the map. This shows the attributes of the feature(s) you click.

Notice the Identify from: dropdown list. You will notice that there are ways to narrow
down what youre selecting. For example, if you only want to see information about
roads, you can be sure that you dont accidentally click a census tract or cultural feature
by limiting the Identify tools options to selecting from the roads layer.

Close the Identify window. End part 4. Q6-8

Part 5: Making Selections from the Map and from the Table

Next were going to take a look at the relationship between the map side and table side
by selecting features from the Cultural Features layer.

Hover your mouse over the Tools again until you find Select Features by Rectangle.
Click the tool and draw a moderately sized rectangle somewhere in the mapped area.
Suddenly, many features have been selected, recognizable by being highlighted or
outlined in a bright cyan color. This is quite a cluttered selection because features from
Cultural Features, Roads, Census Tracts, AND the County boundary have been selected
as at least some part falling with in the rectangle!

You need to limit which layers features can be selected from.

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In older versions of ArcGIS, there was an option to click Selection and click Set
Selectable Layers. This would allow you to pick which layers you want to make your
selection from and which layers you want the selection to ignore. In ArcGIS Desktop 10,
which is what we are using now, Set Selectable Layers is not automatically available.
You need to add it to the list of things you can do under the Selection menu.

Click Customize.
Click Customize Mode.
Click the Commands tab.

In the Show commands


containing: box, type Set
Selectable Layers. Youll
probably see the tool you want
pop up before you even finish
typing. The Categories: box
should have Selection
highlighted, and the Commands:
box should only have Set
Selectable Layers available (see
right).

Simply click and hold the


command, Set Selectable Layers,
and drag it up to the Selection
menu (near the File menu).

The Selection menu should appear, and you can drop Set Selectable Layers
anywhere in the menu, although its probably most logically placed above Clear
Selected Features.

You may close the Customize window.


Now open the Set Selectable Layers window.

Deselect Roads, Census Tracts, and County by unchecking these layers. Cultural
Features should be the only layer from which selections can be made. Click Close.

You need to remake your selection, so first click Clear Selected Features .

Use the Zoom In tool to zoom the map extent to the UGA area. Click on the Select
Features by Rectangle tool to click on a cultural point (e.g. Sanford Stadium).

Hint! If you want to find Sanford Stadium, but youre still unfamiliar to the area, you
can zoom into where the cluster of points are and label your features. Right click
Cultural Features Properties Labels tab Label Field: FEATURE OK.
Every point should be labeled according to the FEATURE field in the attribute table for
the Cultural Features layer. End hint.

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Look in the Attribute Table for the
Cultural Features layer. You should be
able to find the record that corresponds
with your selected feature (see right).

You can also select feature from within


the attribute table.

Lets select all the features within the


Cultural Features layer that have been
labeled as a college or university under
the DESCRIPTOR field.

In the attribute table, scroll to the far


right of the table.

The last column that you see should be the DESCRIPTOR field.

You may see a mixture of descriptions, but were only interested in the colleges and
universities.

One way you can gather them all together and select them at once is to sort the attribute
table by the DESCRIPTOR field. Right click on DESCRIPTOR and click Sort
Ascending. This puts all the attributes in the DESCRIPTOR field in alphabetical
order. Scroll down to the Cs until you see the features labeled
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY.

You can select them all at once by clicking


and dragging down the rows. Notice that
you cannot click the attributes, but rather,
you need to click the rectangles on the left
at the beginning of the row. You may
need to play with making selections until
you figure it out.

Once youve successfully selected the


seven colleges and universities in this
layer, you should find that they are all also
highlighted on the map. You may need to
zoom out to see them all (see right).

Switch between Show all records and Show selected records


at the bottom of the attribute table window (see right).

Clear selected features, close the attribute table, zoom to full extent, and save your work!
End part 5. Q9

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Part 6: Symbolization of Points

There are several ways to change the symbology of a layer.

Right click on layer name and click Properties. Click the Symbology tab.
Double left click on layer name and click the Symbology tab.
Left click the layer symbol, and you may change the symbol.
Right click on the layer symbol, and you may change the color.
Try to do all four with the Cultural Features layer so you can get the hang of it.

The Layer Properties window


(see right), which appears when
you accomplish either of the first
two options, has several tabs
(including Symbology as
mentioned above) that control
everything for the layer. You can
find where the data is saved, you
can change the layers degree of
transparency, you can change the
symbology, change what fields are
viewed in the attribute table, work
on how you want the features
labeled, and so much more.

Change the symbol, the color, and


the size of Cultural Features points.

NOTE! If you are tired of the labels or they appear too cluttered, you may turn them off
easily, by right clicking the layer name and deselecting (unchecking) Label Features.
End note.

Lets create a subset of schools. In the Layer


Properties window of the Cultural Features layer,
click the Definition Query tab. Click the Query
Builder button.

We are going to build a selection where


DESCRIPTOR = SCHOOL (see right).

Scroll to the bottom of the first list. Double click


DESCRIPTOR. Click =. Click Get Unique
Values. Scroll to the bottom of the next list.
Double click SCHOOL. Click OK.

In the box under Definition Query, there should now be the expression you created.

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Click OK once more. You should see significantly less points on the display, because
only the ones labeled as schools are being shown. If you were to open the attribute
table, you would find that only those records labeled as schools are included. The other
features that were not schools have not been deleted; theyre simply hidden. End part 6.
Q10-11

Part 7: Symbolization of Lines

Double click the Roads layer.


In the Layer Properties window, click Symbology.
In the box under Show: on the left side of the window, click Categories.
In the drop down list below Value Field, select CFCC.

NOTE! Do not select CFCC1 or CFCC2. The CFCC that you want is 9th on the list,
between FEDIRS and FRADDL. The acronym for CFCC represents Census Feature
Class Codes. End note.

Click the Add All Values button.


Deselect (uncheck) the symbol of <all
other values>.

What you should see now is a list of Values


and Labels starting with A and followed
by two numbers (see right).

These A##s are standard road classifications for TIGER/Line files, which is what we are
using in this lab. See http://proximityone.com/tgrcfcc.htm for more details. What we
are going to do is group together different types of roads and give them more general
names and unique symbols.

Our process will be this: 1) group values 2) change labels 3) give unique symbol.

In the Value column, click A11.


Hold down the control key on the keyboard.
Click A15.
Right click on either value.
Select Group Values.
Click on the grouped values label in the Label column.
Rename these two grouped values as Expressway.
Double click on the grouped values symbol in the Symbol column.
Choose the symbol for an Expressway by double clicking on it.

Use the above steps to help you with the following related tasks:

Do not group A21 with any other value.


Change its label to Highway.
Change its symbol to Highway.

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Group A31 and A35.
Change their label to Major Road.
Change their symbol to Major Road.

Group A41, A51, A63, and A74.


Change their label Minor Road.
Change their symbol to Arterial Street.

Your result should only have four different


road types. See above right.

You can click Apply to preview your


result. When you are satisfied, click OK.

When you look at your map, what you


should see should be graduated symbology
more related to road maps you might have
seen used on family trips! End part 7. Q12

Part 8: Symbolization of Polygons

Turn off (uncheck) the Cultural Features layer, the Roads layer, and the County
boundary layer, and open the attribute table for the Census Tracts layer.

As you can tell from quickly browsing the table, its not extraordinarily extensive. There
are not very many attributes (columns) for each feature (row).

What were going to do next is add information to this table. You do this by joining
another table to this attribute table based on a field (a column) that is shared between
the two. Close this attribute table for now.

Lets add a couple tables to the map document. Click the Add Data button, navigate to
your lab2_data folder, if youre not already there, and add the following tables:

tgr13000sf1trt.dbf - This is demographic data for Georgia at the tract level


(1618 records).
trt_area - This is tract area in acres for Clarke County (29 records).
Once you added these two tables, there was a change to your Table of Contents.

Notice the buttons listed under the Table of Contents: .


The first four of these buttons regard how the layers will be displayed in the Table of
Contents. From left to right, they are as follows:
1. List By Drawing Order 3. List By Visibility
2. List By Source 4. List By Selection

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Usually, the first button is selected by default. This is the button that lists the layers
according to their drawing order. Whats on top is on top of the other layers. Whats on
the bottom of the list is below the other layers when youre looking at the map.
However, it only shows those files that can be drawn.

When you added tables to your map, it automatically switched to listing the data
according to their source so that you could see the added tables in the Table of Contents.
If you switch back to listing the layers by their drawing order, you will not see the tables,
because they are not drawn. Key concept: These tables have NO geographic data
associated with them. This is why we must join them to tables that already have
geographic data.

Before you can join tables, you have to know which field they have in common. Upon
inspection, it is clear that these three tables all have an STFID field (see below).

FYI! The joins you are about to make do not actually change the tables. Rather, they
build virtual links between tables. This is a link that only exists in the map document. If
you open the tables from anywhere else, you will not be able to see the joined
information. End FYI.

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1. To begin the joining process,
right click on Census Tracts,
hover over Joins and
Relates, and click Join.
The Join Data window will
appear.
2. Where you see, What do you
want to join to this layer?,
select Join attributes from a
table from the drop down
menu.
3. Under Choose the field in
this layer that the join will be
based on:, select STFID
from the drop down menu.
4. Under Choose the table to
join to this later, or load the
table from disk, select
tgr13000sf1trt from the
drop down menu.
5. Under Choose the field in the
table to base the join on:
select STFID from the drop
down menu.
6. Leave the Keep all records
radio button selected. Double
check that all settings are
correct (see right). Click OK.
Oh no! A strange window
popped up! Its asking me to
do something. What do I do?!

IF a Create Index window pops up,


go ahead and select Use my choice
and do not show this dialog again
before clicking Yes (see right).

Repeat the above process for the trt_area table.


This would be a good time to click Save !

When you are finished, open the attribute table for the Census Tracts layer and inspect
the table for a difference.

There should be MUCH more information gained from the join, especially from the first
table that you joined, because it contained a lot of demographic data. You may close the
attribute table for Census Tracts now.

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Now that we have more information for Census Tracts, we can use this extra
information to do some creatively symbolization for the Census Tracts layer.

Follow the following steps to make a choropleth map showing the distribution of college
age residents of Athens Clarke County:

Open the Layer Properties window for Census Tracts.


Click the Symbology Tab.
Click Quantities in the box under Show:.
Click AGE_18_21 in the drop down list next to Value:.
Click 7 in the drop down list next to Classes:.
Click Apply (see figure 1 below).

What you can see now is a quick look at the raw numbers of college age students living
in each tract. However, all these tracts are different sizes, so it would be interesting to
see what the difference would be if you normalized AGE_18_21 by area.

Click Acres in the drop down list next to Normalization:.


Click Apply (see figure 2 below).

There is clearly a very different result, and if you know the area, this result seems to
make more sense. There are definitely many students trying to live on and around the
University of Georgia. Taking population and normalizing it by area is known as finding
the population density, so what has been derived in this case is the population density of
college aged residents of Athens Clarke County.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Youve learned MUCH about different ways to symbolize points, lines, and polygons. Go
ahead and turn all four layers back on. Work with the symbolization to make something
aesthetically appealing. Save your work, and exit ArcMap. End part 8. Q13-14

Part 9: Stuff you need to know for printing!

You will need to print a hard copy map as part of your assignment for this lab, and since
printing from ArcMap can be a little tricky, be sure to go over the following carefully:

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Before you even start arranging your layout, it would be a good idea to first look at the
page settings and the print settings.

Under the File menu, go to Page and Print Setup. There are several important
things to note in this window.

#1 Which
printer are
you using?

#4 Orien-
tation

#3 Printer
settings
#2 Print
Preview

#5 Orien-
tation

#6 Scaling
to page

#1 Which printer are you using? Be careful to select the right printer. The default for
many lab computers is OneNote 2010, which doesnt print it in hard copy at all. Also,
avoid using the color printer as much as possible. Its much more expensive to print in
color than it is black, so select the black printer as much as you can.

#2 Print Preview. This is a good first indicator that something will be wrong when the
map is printed. The map being printed is overlaid on the page to which it is to be
printed. As you can tell from the screen shot on the previous page, its not going to be in
the right place. The page is portrait, whereas the map is landscape.

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#3 Printer Settings. If you already know where youre printing the map, a regular lab or
home printer, its good to use the printer paper settings. Some printers cannot print as
closely to the edge of the page as others, so if this is selected, you will know if part of
your map will be cut off.

#4 & #5 Orientation. THERE ARE TWO! Typically you want both portrait if your map
is vertical, and you want both landscape if your map is horizontal. Dont change one and
forget to change the other, which is what happened in this case.

#6 Scaling to page. This option is like insurance that your map WILL fit on the page on
which it is to be printed. This is a good just-in-case option to make sure nothing is cut
off by accident. End part 9. Q15

****BE SURE TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS LAB!!!****

Assignment for Lab2

Part 1

Q1 What are the three necessary files to make a single shapefile?

Q2 What are the pitfalls of using Windows Explorer to manage geographic data?

Q3 True or False: Connecting to a folder creates an entirely new folder on your


computer.

Q4 Whats the difference between viewing the contents of a folder and viewing the
contents of a file when exploring data in ArcCatalog?

Q5 Slow double clicks on the computer are most commonly used for what?

Q6 What is something you can do to help prevent ArcMap from crashing?

Q7 What does do?

Q8 What is the STFID for the westernmost tract in Athens Clarke County?

Q9 What are three ways to clear selected features?

Q10 Under which tab in Layer Properties can you change the transparency of a layer?

Q11 How do you clear a definition query?

(continues on next page)


Q12 What does TIGER stand for? (Hint: Google it.)

Q13 What must you have in two tables in order to join them?
15
Q14 How do you derive population density (just in general, not for any particular
group)?

Q15 Why is it a good idea to look at your page and print settings before beginning your
layout?

Part 2

Pretend you are on a team working on a project to inventory and analyze historical sites
in Athens Clarke County. Youre an entry-level GIS specialist who has been assigned a
task to make a map of the existing historical sites and give a brief report.

Your map should include:

The historical sites (ONLY) from the cultural point data. Labeling is optional.
Roads in an appropriate color scheme according to CFCC.
Total population density by census tract, graduated colors at 50% transparency.
All cartographic elements. Beware of simply inserting them; they will most likely
need editing from their default settings. Sample layout on the next page!
Hint for deriving historical sites: FEATURE LIKE %historical%
Your report should include:

An evaluation of the reliability and completeness of your historical features.


Consider the following questions.
o Is the historical subset you derived from the cultural point data a complete
list of historical sites in Athens Clarke County? (Are there errors of
omission?)
o Are all points labeled as historical actually historical? (Are there errors of
commission?)
o Do you know how accurately the placement of points are for this dataset;
in other words, is the data reliable enough that you could use this map to
navigate to a point and the point actually be where it says its supposed to
be?
o Do you know who collected this data, when, and their motivations behind
this particular collection of data points?
Your opinion about the effectiveness and usefulness of the map that you have
created from the available data.
Suggestions on how to improve the quality and presentation of this map and the
project to inventory and analyze historical sites in general. (You dont actually
have to DO these suggestions. You just have to discuss the potential methods. Be
imaginative and creative).
Your report should be about 1 double-spaced page in length.

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Athens-Clarke County


!
Historical Sites and Population Density

! !
!
! ! !
!
!
!
!

!
!

! Historical Sites Census Tracts


Roads People/Acre
A11; A15 0-0.99
Emily Snow
A21 1-1.99 10 May 2012
A31; A35 2-2.99
A41; A51; A63; A74 3-3.99 Miles ! !
0 0.5 1 2 3 4
4-10

All of this data has been provided by Dr. Lan Mu for use in GEOG4/6370 at the University of Georgia.
It is downloadable at the lab website on the electronic Learning Commons (eLC).