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Assignment 2 - Basic mapping

Format - Upload a set of five clearly labeled individual digital maps in .gif or .jpg format. Place on your Student Work Zone section of the wiki by midnight of due date

Based on what you have learned in the GIS tutorial (ArcGIS Basics - Mapping Somerville), use ArcGIS to create five good maps of an area of interest to you (potentially your project area if you have a project idea). Each map should should show the same area (e.g., Cambridge) with the same scale and layout, but display different information about that area (e.g., a transportation map, a land use map, a map of features of environmental concern, aerial photos, the built environment). Each map should have an inset map showing the general location of the larger map (the Tufts tutorial, ArcGIS Basics - Mapping Somerville tutorial, tells how to do this).

Do not use census data for your maps at this point. The next assignment will focus on census data mapping.

Important note: To create digital files of your maps for uploading, make them in ArcMap and then choose File-Export and choose the .gif format. DO NOT UPLOAD .mxd files! Refer to the ArcGIS Basics - Mapping Somerville tutorial, page 30 for more instructions.

Each map should have

  • a legend (with the layers named to make sense, not data-speak)
  • a title
  • a scale
  • a north arrow
  • an inset map showing location of the area in a larger context
  • information about you, the cartographer, the date you produced the map, and where the data sets came from (to your best knowledge). If you are using data from the Tufts M: drive, you can say the data comes from the Tufts GIS Data Server but also provide the name of the agency (e.g, MassGIS data on Tufts GIS Data Server).

Note: Information about the map projection should always be on a map, but because we have not covered that yet, it is not required for this assignment.

Only include in the legend items that make sense (e.g., an aerial photo does not need to be listed in the legend as an aerial photo - it is pretty obvious what it is!).

Each map should use the same layout framework (e.g., the same position for the map frame, title, scale, etc.).For an outstanding example, take a look at Gabriel Holbrow's Assignment 2 from Fall 2010.

Some advice!

Add all the layers you're going to include in your five maps. Then focus on creating your first map, and turn on only the layers you'll be using in that map. Get it set at the scale you want, put in the inset map, and have all your base layers the way you want them. Once you create the first layout (e.g., a land use map), save the map file to an appropriate name (e.g., land_use), then change the visible layers to show what you want in your second map, and save it to a second map file (e.g., built_environment), then create a third mapfile (e.g., aerial_view) and save that. By saving each version as a different map file, they'll all be at the same scale and show the same view, and you can easily pull each up again by opening that map file. Once you have them all done, you can create a GIF of each one by opening the relevant map file (e.g., land_use) in ArcMap and choosing File-Export Map from the menu (in .gif format for this assignment). In the resulting dialog box, select .gif. Post the .gif files (NOT the .mxd map files) on your student work zone on the web.

Try to have as little white space as possible on your map (page space with nothing on it). Use the File-Page and Print Set-up function to change the page between portrait and landscape depending on the best fit of your map (Somerville is tough because it slants!). Enlarge your map to the maximum extent possible, and place the title, scale bar and other info into the white spaces that are left over from the map.

The following tip sheets will help and we assume you will understand and use this information in your maps where appropriate:

Note: the M drive in the lab holds a massive amount of data for Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and other cities. It also holds much of the MassGIS data. Finally, it provides access to some US and world data as well. So feel free to use any of this data (or data you can download from the internet - see the Data Resources link on our course web site).

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