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The biggest problem students have with this assignment is using the Summarize function. You can only use the Summarize function on a category value, e.g., type of land use, openspace owner type, openspace public access (yes, no, etc.).  You will then summarize numeric information by this type (e.g., acres of open space that are publicly accessible, or acres of open space by owner type). Do NOT summarize on a numeric field!

In addition to the tip sheets on the required functions, there are some trouble-shooting tip sheets on our Tip Sheets section that you will find helpful:

  • Creating a smaller data set from a larger one (under Managing GIS Data section of the Tufts GIS Tip Sheets) - this explains how to copy a portion of a GIS data set to your own space (e.g., selecting out parcels from a neighborhood in Boston)
  • Defining a Map Projection - (under Map Projections and Coordinate Systems section of the Tufts GIS Tip Sheets) - if you get a warning that a data layer's spatial reference is not defined, use this tip sheet to help solve that problem.
  • Setting up for Spatial Analysis under Spatial Analsyis Tips section of the Tufts GIS Tip Sheets - this tip sheet tells you how to work with data in different coordinate systems and to get your layers all into one coordinate system
  • Fixing Problems with Numeric and Text Fields using Field Calculator - under Working with Tables section of the Tufts GIS Tip Sheets - this tip sheet explains how to change a text field to numeric and vice versa (e.g., in the Boston parcel assessor data, some of the attributes that should be numeric are instead text, and you need to change them to numeric before querying them (e.g., select all lots larger than 10,000 square feet)

 EE-mail the instructor and TA if you have problems!