Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GIS 4930 Final Group Poster

Here is our final Group Poster that we created as a team


And here is a screenshot if that link is broken:

And here is the research that I contributed to the project:


I was lucky to work with a great team and under the leadership of Ray, I think we compiled a great poster.

Friday, November 30, 2012

SkyTruth - Analyze Week

This week we continued our work on our Mountaintop Removal project for SkyTruth.  Our goal this week was to clean up the data by setting the following parameters:

To be considered as an MTR area it must:
1. Be larger than 40 acres
2. Must be farther than 50 meters from roads and rivers
3. Must be farther than 400 meters from Major Rivers and Highways
4. Must Intersect with Mountain Ridges

In order to complete this phase of the project, we had to use several ArcGIS Tools and techniques including:
  • Raster to Polygon tool
  • Various Selects (By Location and Attribute)
  • Feature buffering
  • Overlay erasing
  • Multipart to SinglePart conversion
  • Calculate Geometry
  • Creating Random Points
  • Data Editing
  • Accuracy Checking
  • Packaging and Delivery
So in a pretty compact lab, we really got to showcase some of the tools we have been learning not only in this class, but the other classes as well in our UWF curriculum.

SkyTruth - Prepare Week

This week's assignment involved a few tasks to help analyze an area to determine where Mountain Top Removal Mining might be taking place.   This data would be used by SkyTruth.org to empower environmental activism.

Some of the skills needed for this project included:
  • Combining Landsat bands to get a multi-band image
  • performing unsupervised classification using ERDAS Imagine
  • Classifying images of different spectral values
  • Manually reclassifying and recoding imagery in ArcMap
It is important to note that this is a multi-week project, so a lot of the "noise" that you see around rivers and roads in this first pass of the analysis will be eliminated in future steps by buffering them out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Data Sharing Issues

Some common problems in the sharing of GIS data among individuals and organizations include:
·         Silo vs. Enterprise approaches
·         Free vs. Fee Base information sharing
·         Data Gatekeepers vs. Data Access Facilitators
·         Agency Needs vs. Surrounding Entities
·         Data Sharing Agreements vs. informal arrangements
·         Outsource GIS Data Sharing Functions vs. In-House
·         Data Standards
·         Quality of Shared Data

(These are all paraphrased from the URISA article here: http://www.urisa.org/files/Issues%20in%20GIS%20data%20sharing.pdf )

From a real world perspective, some of the problems I have witnessed when it comes to sharing data include:

·         Storage Issues – Some of the data can be very large and this requires external hard drives to be swapped by agencies.   Sometimes it is hard to remember whose drive you have sitting on your desk if you don’t label everything properly.

·         User Levels – We may work from everyone from the non GIS user all the way up to USGS experts in a single day.   You have to be able to deal with different skill levels from the people that you work with.

·         Tools – Not everyone has the same version of ESRI ArcGIS software that we have.   You have to be able to distribute the shared data in alternate formats (KML, XML, and even printed copies if that is all their skill set will allow)

·         Repeat Requests – Our GIS staff would repeatedly get requests for the same data from separate parties.   This called for the creation of a basic GIS library available from our web site which contains these files for download.   You can see this site here:   http://www.srwmd.state.fl.us/index.aspx?NID=319

·         Disclaimers – Whenever working with data that is shared with the public, it is important to provide disclaimers about how the data should (and should not be used).    For example there was some confusion with terms like (100 year flood event).   People thought that meant the event would only happen once every 100 years, so if an event happened 3 years ago, they were in the clear for 97 more years.   This simply wasn’t the case.    Like a lot of things, managing expectations is a priority.

LiDAR & Hydro - Report Week

Description of Data:

This MXD contains two important aspects.   The DJ_Group2_Stream feature was calculated using a DEM and the ArcHydro Tools (Fill, Flow Direction, Flow Accumulation, Con, and Stream to Feature).   The DH_Group2_basin data goes one step farther to run the "Basin" tool to delineate drainage areas in the raster.

In the zip file you will find:
  • DRJ_Group2_Deliverable.mxd - An ArcGIS Map
  • DJ_Group2_GeoDB.gdb - A File Geodatabase conatining key data for the project
The MXD will contain 2 Layers that display the data from the GeoDatabase:
  • DJ_Group2_stream - Stream files created using ArcHydro Tools in ArcGIS
  • DJ_Group2_basic - Basin files created using ArcHydro Tools in ArcGIS

Data Location:

Here is a link to my files for this week's Lab Data:

               Zipped Copy of Lab Files

Data Instructions:

In order to use the data on your computer, you will need to take the following steps:
1.  Make sure you have ArcGIS 10.1 (or newer) on your computer
2. Download the zip file
3. Unzip the file into its own directory such as    c:\MyFiles\
4. Open the MXD file in ArcGIS

Notes of Interest:
On this assignment, we had a couple of students have trouble with the CON tool.   I did some research and found an article that explained that it could be a problem using an underscore in the naming convention of the Input Raster.    This tip seemed to help several classmates and it felt really good to help one another in that instance.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Module 10 - Supervised Classification

Here is my Map for this week's assignment to use supervised clasification.   I am not thrilled with my results (notice all the white spots on the Distance inset) but we all have to start somewhere !

GIS 4930 - LiDAR & Hydro - Analyze Week

Here is my map for this week's assignment which used ArcGIS Hydrology tools to determine where streams and rivers are found in our study area.