Monday, April 16, 2018

Vector 2 Assignment

Hello everyone!

I know it's been awhile but I'm trying to catch up to the best of my ability.  This particular assignment seems easier when I think about what I did to accomplish it, it was more difficult as I was going through the PS.  The parameters set for the assignment dictated the campground locations could not be within a conservation area and had to be: 500m from any River (only one in this location); 300m from any road; and 150m from a lake.  The areas highlighted in green show the potential campground locations that meet those parameters.  Water features are shown in blue and the roads are in black.  The biggest challenge I faced was being able to work this assignment consistently.  If I wasn't falling asleep at my desk it seemed like there was always something that came up.  At one point, I was almost finished and I stopped to take a break, thinking I would finish by the end of the night.  This did not happen and when I came back to finish the assignment, I had forgotten to save my progress and had to retrace my steps throughout the PS.  It was a benefit as it helped reinforce what I had attempted to rush through.  Well - see you next time (hopefully in the next two days with my next assignment).

Friday, March 9, 2018



I'm back after not having blogged in awhile.  This assignment was particularly challenging due to my work schedule and its the first real map I've done in quite some time.  I had to revisit a lot of the lessons from earlier in the year for things I had forgotten how to accomplish on ARCMAP.  I found I was able to pull a majority of my vector files from and I used and for my DOQQ and DEM files.  All of the files were in Albers Conical Equal Area for Projection and North American 1983 HARN for the GCS.  The only files that were different were:  the DOQQ projected via HPGN (NAD83) and North American 1983 HARN for the GCS; the DEM which used Albers for the PCS.  For the two environmental files I chose 'Invasive Plants' and 'Strategic Habitat Conservation Area'.  Both were fairly easy to find on FGDL and were easy to download, converted, and displayed.  The first slide I created was a map of the cities/towns, roads, and parks in Seminole County.  The second slide I created was a map of the invasive plants, strategic conservation habitat areas, and water features of SEMINOLE COUNTY.  I was able to download the files from the FGDL site and I converted them to North American 1983 HARN.  I used the last slide to display the DEM file I downloaded from USGS.  Initially, I had some difficulty downloading the correct file.  Instead of using the ARC 1 second as was suggested, I had selected ARC 1/3.  On top of that I was downloading the ARCIMG vs the IMG file.  Thankfully, I was able to get some help and downloaded the correct file (I hope).  I adjusted the displayed topography colors from the black and white display to one that I felt was easier to distinguish.  Finally, I added all the required map elements: Scale, Legend, Title, North Arrow, Data Source, Author, and Coordinate Systems used.  Overall, I felt better with these maps then I felt when I worked the Week 6 Projections Lab.  I'll continue to get better and hope to do better over the next few weeks.  See you soon!   

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mod 4 Map - Finally!

Good evening everyone!  I realize it has been awhile since I blogged last time, but I’m back.  The Mod 4 assignment has been my most difficult one to date and if anyone has followed my blogs, you know I’ve skipped around to different assignments.  There was just so much information to display on this one and trying to make sure it was well – balanced and the map was presented in accordance with Gestalt’s principles, visual hierarchy, achieving the adequate contrast, as well as ensuring the schools were jumping out at the viewer (figure-ground).  For contrast, I wanted to choose a color that was going to remain neutral in the background, so that the focus of the map (Ward 7) jumped out at the viewer as the focus.  I started with Sand and then modified the color somewhat.  For the road, water, and park features, I chose brighter colors, but I tried to make sure they did not detract too much from the focus of the map.  One issue I ran into were the roads in Ward 7 did not appear as smooth as the student examples that were provided.  No matter what I did, I could not get the roads to appear as smooth and well-defined as the student examples.  I spent so much time on this part that I got frustrated and had to walk away for a little.  I finally decided to let the map go as it was and attempt to adjust later on.  I also realized the maps appeared to be more refined, perhaps they were fine tuned with AI.  By this time, I had surpassed my self-imposed deadline for the map and decided to forego the refinement and press ahead.  I used ESRI for my ‘school’ icon as suggested by the instructions, but I could not create more space between the schoolhouses that were located close together (16 and 12 as well as 11 and 10).  I decided to label the schoolhouses with numbers that corresponded with the box in the top right hand corner of the map, but schoolhouses 11 and 10 were still too close together.  I toyed around with a couple of different alternatives, but none of them worked well  initially (leading line and icon size).  Finally, I adjusted to the icon sizes as well as placement on the data map and achieved a somewhat presentable map.  I utilized the splined-text to label the river and presented most of the text with masking to make it stand out – especially in the Ward 7 street areas.  I inserted all essential map elements – however, I strayed from my norm when it came to the Legend.  I chose a different presentation method to emphasize the difference in schoolhouses.  I felt this was appropriate because it really showed a “step” pattern from elementary school to middle school to high school – a true representation of our school system.  Anyways, I finally completed the map, despite the difficulties the lesson presented.  I hope you enjoy – stay tuned for another map soon!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Projections Part 1

Hello again!  Today I learned about the hundreds of different projection systems available and the differences between a geographic coordinate system and a projected coordinate system.  Through our readings and research, I found a blog which summarized the differences quite nicely, 'a GCS is used to define the shape of the Earth while a PCS is used to show a 3D earth on a flat 2D sheet using projection methods'.  As far as the lab was concerned, I felt it helped demonstrate to the reader how one map projection can be more or less accurate than the other.  The lab itself was not as difficult as previous labs, but did take some time.  I hope you enjoy the map, which shows the state of Florida represented using three different projections:  Albers, UTM 16, and State Plane.  The differences are highlighted in the sq miles of each county within Florida.  While many of the counties share the same data, the four counties chosen that are different were: Escambia, Polk, Miami-Dade, and Alachua.  I hope you enjoy the map - please stay tuned for the next map.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Hello everyone!

My next assignment in Cartography was creating a flow line map.  As usual, this map presented some difficulty which can be compounded when working under time contstraints, daily distractions, and battling fatigue.  I still have difficulty keeping my layers straight as I've found endless polygons and no real easy way to organize it all except to start from the beginning.  The map I created was based off statistics provided to us by the instructors who gathered them from the '2007 Yearbook of Immigrations Statistics'.  The map presents the total number of people who immigrated to the United States in the year 2007.  It also shows: what regions of the world they traveled from, and by percentage, which states took on the most immigrants that year.  I spent the majority of my time re-familiarizing myself with the awesome capabilities and subsequent frustrations of AI.  Overall, I'm pleased with the map and what I learned.  I do feel I could have done a better job with the flow lines and the overall layout of the continents.  I initially planned to have a larger legend box, which is why I put the 'Unknown' icon just below Texas.  In hindsight, I should have placed 'Oceania' in that location and maybe moved 'Unknown' to the spot North of Montana.  I hope you enjoy my blog, I'll be back in a couple days with another one!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Lab 4 Sharing GIS

This lab was not too difficult and I learned how to create many types of files, most notably, shapefiles and kmz files.  Additionally, I learned how to use a map sharing program (MPK) which was very easy to use and useful.  After brainstorming and debating with myself, I finally decided on a subject and created a list of Top 10 restaurants to dine in within the United States according to Trip Advisor.  The greatest difficulty I encountered was when I had completed the assignment.  I didn't like how my .shp file was named "Import_Export" so I changed the name to "top10rest".  Unfortunately, this threw off the other files that were created along with the shp file.  If you do this, you must rename the remaining related files the exact same name or your .shp file will not function and you will get an error.  I learned how to use ArcMap to create points with information on each restaurant added by using Microsoft Excel and then creating a text document from the inputs.  I felt more comfortable using ArcMap and felt extremely comfortable using MPK, but I'd definitely like to familiarize myself with Google Earth more.  Anyways - here is the map link which is available on the the the ESRI site. The link to my map can be found here: - stay tuned for my next post!