Basic Web Mapping

Description of the Problem

ArcGIS online and Internet Map Servers (IMS) represent repositories of various amounts of data easily accessible for GIS projects. Understanding how to access, integrate, and say something with these repositories is key to being able to carry out GIS research in a timely fashion. By using these resources researchers can significantly cut down on the amount of time and money they will need to expend on project. However, researchers should always consider the metadata (i.e. the conditions and methods under which the data was created). Along with understanding these repositories a new possibility with ArcGIS 10 is the ability to export layer and map packages allowing researchers to transfer their newly manipulated data or whole maps between each other or to others.

Strategies of Solving the Problem

Understanding ArcGIS online, IMSs, and creating layer and map packages was approached by viewing the instructional video and following the tutorials. Attention was payed to including related data layers so as to suggest something about the data being included on the maps.

Methods

Lands Managed for Conservation and Open Space data was acquired from North Carolina State University. In order to keep in mind what this shape file contained it was renamed within the GIS as NC Lands Managed for Conservation & Open Space. The Bing Maps Hybrid basemap was then added to the GIS. Further data was added from ArcGIS Online by clicking on the Add Data drop down arrow button on the Standard Toolbar and selecting Add Data from ArcGIS Online.… Data was filtered by using the search term “North Carolina.” After going through a variety of data sets, the Carolina Hemlock layer was added into the GIS. This data layer was added with the intention of attempting to see if there was any correlation between Carolina Hemlock population and conserved and open spaces. These three data sets then needed to be packaged into a Layer Package.

Map 1
Map 1

Map two required the connection of Internet Map Server (IMS) data and the creation of a Map Package. An IMS file for Buncombe County was obtained via NCSU Libraries. After re-launching ArcMap, the IMS data for Buncombe County could be accessed via the ArcCatalogue tab in ArcMap. After a bit of experimenting, the NC1Map_BuncombeCo_WMS data was selected for use. Since the general theme of the maps were to be land use interaction with the Carolina Hemlock, it was decided that the Township Limit layer would be used. The next step was to create a Map Package.

Map 2
Map 2

Discussion of Methods

There were only a few minor issues with this assignment; most of which were easily resolved such as finding out what data was being shown in the “lmcos” file and a few issues with getting data to display properly in the legends of each map. Data confusion was resolved by looking at the metadata and then changing the name of the layer in the GIS. Issues with the map legends necessitated the use of the assignment forum. ArcGIS Online and IMS data was chosen to show a possible correlation between lands Carolina Hemlock population and conserved and open spaces first in general and then more specifically relating to Buncombe County.

Data Evaluation Procedure

More than several attempts were made to verify that portability of the files, but this was not able to be evaluated since the computers that were intended to be used for this evaluation were not using ArcGIS version 10.

Reflection and Ideas of Other Applications

The skills learned in this assignment would allow someone to obtain data from ArcGIS Online and any group using IMS files along with disseminating their GIS for other people to use. As far as my personal interests in archaeology goes, this would allow researchers to use their remote sensing data that they have personally gathered against a basemap to note anomalies and possibly find new or previously unnoticed features. Furthermore, the use of Layer and Map packages would allow researchers to send their view in a GIS to other researchers for validation and possibly for ground-truthing. Such examples of this type of research could be found in the recent work of Egyptologist Sara Paracak discovering 17 lost pyramids in Egypt (among other sites) and Professor David Kennedy who found around 3,000 sites in Saudi Arabia.

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