Friday, December 5, 2008

December 5, 2008

I took just a few waypoints on my way home from work this week. First stop was to grab Herb from his office, then we drove on I-26 for several miles. Due to the construction on the Brevard Road bridge, the drive was longer to account for a detour. I took two more way points on the detour since I was stuck in traffic. The final point was at my house; I included a zoomed in dataframe showing just my house. Pete, what is the best way to create the lines for this?

December 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 24, 2008

I revised the AB Tech Campus map to illustrate new features in the geodatabase. I created subtypes for the sidewalk layer by noting its condition, which ranges from good to fair based on the integer 1 to 3. The sidewalk conditions are shown in brown with various line styles. I also created a coded value domain for the parking lot layer to note valid parking by faculty, students, and other. There did not appear to be any changes to the map based on the domain. Nor did I see the domain choices while editting. I must be doing something incorrectly. Finally, I added a topology class in the geodatabase. The topology rule states that buildings must not overlap others buildings in the feature class. Several errors were found, which are illustrated in red on the map.
Herb and I are off to Charlotte to visit my in-laws for the Thanksgiving holiday. Should be very exciting.

November 24, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008

I finally finished with the Town Annexation map. Made several changes based on the comments from class on Wednesday. I had some trouble with the icons, as they were much too small originally. Also noticed an error in how I grouped some of the annexations, so they were duplicated in two of the maps. Hopefully all my calculations are correct, as I believe the map will be displayed in the Town Council room.
Happy Halloween everyone!

October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008

I may actually be understanding the SDE world a bit more following today's class. It's a bit difficult to remember all the steps required to create instances, users, permissions, etc. I did list a few additional steps on the Google Document, so that should help everyone. My big problem today was forgetting to version each feature class so others could view the data.

Pete also helped me a bit after class with the GNIS data. Although I had tried to edit the projection at the office, it didn't seem to work. The data didn't move at all, it wasn't a matter of having chosen the incorrect projection. But Pete was able to make it work, as he usually is so all is well. One more item to cross off my list at work.

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008

The lab test was fairly straightforward, at least until I had an error digitizing the new building footprints. It would not allow me to create a new feature because the feature was out of bounds. This was a new error and I wasn't quite sure how to correct it. I did notice I could draw the feature inside where the CAD layer was, just not anywhere else. Not sure if that had to do with the data frame coordinate system. I loaded the buildings shapefile first so the data frame had real world coordinates. I also thought it might be related to the coordinate system of the building footprints layer, but changing that didn't make any difference. I wonder if anyone else had any problems? Maybe Pete can explain?

October 13, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 8, 2008

I wanted to share an interesting article with everyone describing "geoweb" and "mashups." It seems there are many newcomers to cartography and we're not alone in our endeavors. Check out the link below for the article.

Our class attempts at using the SDE was definitely interesting. After Steve's changes to the buildings layer, it is obvious more restrictive permissions are needed. But at least we know what it possible now. Looking forward to learning more about SDE in upcoming classes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29, 2008

Since I'm the only one who seems to be keeping up with their blog, I'm feeling a bit unmotivated today. The Geodatabase, short for geographic database, is a central repository for storing geographic data. It can be created, managed, and edited with Arc Catalog, ArcToolbox, and arcMap. It is stored in a file based system or Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) and the higher levels of the geodatabase require a DataBase Administrator (DBA). Some benefits of the Geodatabase include scaleable, multi-user editing, feature linked annotation, rule based topology, and continuous set of features.
Herb and I bought pumpkins this weekend, mostly from the West Asheville Farmer's Market. If anyone is in the neighborhood, swing by the house and take a look. The big Atlantic Giant barely fit in the car, and it was so large we had to roll it across the lawn.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September 24, 2008

I survived the test, although it didn't focus on the areas I expected. More questions on CAD files than I expected. Afterwards, had lots of fun continuing the ESRI tutorials. I posted a map illustrating the waterlines and annotation created during the one exercise. Not too much else going on. Just anticipating next week's lecture on geodatabases.

September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22, 2008

It seems as though Pete has quite a busy schedule, as he had a 14 hour flight and then an early morning meeting. I am also disappointed to learn the highlight of the flight was the GPS tracking as opposed to the in-flight movies or the delicious food. I assume they still serve something to eat and drink on international flights. But onto the topic at hand.
It must be extremely interesting to attend meetings with the managers and chiefs of the various business entities. And it is exciting to hear how much involvement they have with the education of the country. I am surprised by how large and widespread the university is in India, as well as the other countries. The progress of the program is amazing and the collaboration with ABTech will serve both university's well.
Since we didn't have the test today, I spent class working on the ESRI tutorial about geodatabases. The exercises are fairly clear; however, I am confused how the subtypes and relationship classes actually work in a map. It's hard to relate an exercise to a real life example when you are just following the steps. Maybe your presentation will clarify this for me and the others.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September 15, 2008

I was spending a lot of time creating a parking lot and road layer for the ABTech Campus, when it occurred to me I should be studying for the exam next week. I think I've at least removed the lots located on buildings. The impervious surface layer from the City of Asheville was very helpful, despite a few incorrect polygons. So the map below isn't quite up to my standards, but it's close.
In other news, the 16th is my second wedding anniversary. It seems much longer since Herb and I have been together for over 8 years. We don't have anything exciting planned, spent too much money remodeling the bathroom. Maybe Herb will surprise me with something.

September 15, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 10, 2008

Since I've been bored, I finished creating a layer of building footprints. There are 96 polygons in total, which originated from the CAD polylines. Unfortunately, I was not thinking ahead and did not make a copy of the polygon layer created using the ArcToolbox function of Feature to Polygon. Since I don't have an ArcInfo license at the office, I'm unable to perform this function again. Consequently the map below shows the original CAD polylines in comparison to the polygon layer I compiled in a geodatabase. I would have preferred to compare the two polygon layers, but I can't do anything about that now.
We are still having car troubles with the Mazda. The dealer was unable to diagnose a problem and of course the car started right away for them. I finally convinced Herb we should have someone else look at it, and they are finding lots of parts to repair/replace. Of course, I don't think anything has fixed the starting issue. Hopefully it won't cost too much in the end.
Yoga has also started again, so maybe that will help to relax me.

September 10, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September 3, 2008

I spent some time in class looking at Microsoft's Virtual Earth gathering some building height information. Pete finally helped me convert the polyline layer to a polygon layer, which was actually very simple if you know the correct tool to use in ArcToolbox. Once this was finished, I was able to edit the attribute table by adding a field for building names. Sadly, it was not too exciting and didn't produce a new map just yet.
Herb's car died yesterday, so I'm waiting to here what the problem is....we think it could be the fuel pump. This on top of more trouble with the rental property in Philly, which we learned about last week before vacation. Apparently the wall is crumbling and needs to be repaired for several thousand. I'm waiting to see what the third piece of bad news might be.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 27, 2008

I completed the assignment and now understand how to georeference CAD data. However, I have a few questions related to exporting. First, when you export the selected data, should you use the coordinates of the data frame or the layer's source coordinates? I choose the former, as I added the buildings layer first so the CS was in State Plane feet. Second when adding the newly exported data to a new data frame, the layers did not contain a CS. Did I do something wrong? And can I just set the CS to the same as the buildings layer? Or should they be set to the CS of the original CAD data? How's that for confusing.
Off to Morehead City with Herb for the weekend. Hopefully the weather will be okay.

August 27. 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 25, 2008

More homework, unbelievable. After trouble with Media Player and Internet Explorer, I was able to view the presentation. Have I mentioned my CAD class in college that didn't go so well? At least GIS is a lot more simple to understand. Let's see what I learned from the video.
With ArcGIS 9.2 they have improved the software's ability to match symbology, fonts, and rendering. Additionally you can now create world files to define the transformation of your data. A tool that seems quite useful is the two-point transformation, which maintains the aspect ratio of the CAD dataset. One can also scale, rotate, and shift a CAD layer to match the extent of an ArcMap layer.
What I would consider the greatest advancement is the capability of the software to translate CAD data into a geodatabase. This allows the user to edit a layer and apply more advanced cartographic representations. Similarly, one is able to convert a modified dataset back to CAD format. I can imagine this is quite useful as well.
Let's see, news from home. Not much exciting. We had a very relaxing weekend, including some hiking at Holmes Experimental State Forest. No quite as scenic as Dupont State Forest, but very solitary and nice. We also learned our apple tree produces Gala apples, so we will be making some apple sauce this week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 20, 2008

An actual assignment, how unusual. Let's see what I learned today about coverages, shapefiles, and geodatabases.
Coverages were created in the 1970s when GIS were first developed. As a result, many agencies continue to use this data format despite its limitations. The largest drawback is the multi-step process required to create polygons. The user must first individual arc segments, which connect to form a shape, and then he must perform a "build" command to create a polygon. Today, the geodatabase format allows a user to simply draw a polygon and the software creates the necessary data in the associated attribute table. It is a one-step process.
On the other hand, coverages support topology, which is a significant benefit when performing data analysis related to adjacency, connectivity, or containment. A coverage file forces linked nodes and lines to remain connected when editting. Should you change one layer, you must change any associated layers to keep the topology. This is one important function that was lost with the creation of shapefiles.
Shapefiles do not maintain topology, which means the area and perimeter of objects in a layer will not be updated if editting occurs. This is a significant problem for agencies using this format, as the attribute table could provide incorrect data. Despite the speed of shapefiles and the ability to use them in many GIS software programs, the lack of topology functions limit their abilities.
The best of both worlds is the geodatabase, which was introduced by ESRI with their ARCGIS 9.2 update. A geodatabase stores topology, can create polygons without additional commands, and updates the shape of individual features during editting sessions. They are quite useful in the world of GIS and will hopefully become ubiquitous in the near future. Until then, only GIS specialists using ESRIs software have the ability to create this data format.

Monday, August 18, 2008

August 18, 2008

Since Pete bugged us about not updating our blogs during the summer, I thought I would post some of the maps I've created for work. We have the latest and greatest Zoning map, complete with several new parcels and rezonings. There is the potential annexation area to the south of Town, which the Town Council voted down much to my surprise – talk about controversy. A new and improved Greenways map for the Parks and Recreation Department. And finally, an Infrastructure map, with a fun annotation layer of the water lines. If only I could get the sewer district to complete the update of their layer.
I’ve also been working on a building footprints layer, which is extremely tedious. After many days of tracing buildings on the 2001 aerial, I am only 50% complete with the layer. Hopefully I will finish it soon and can think of an exciting class project for it.
While doing some research for Pete's USB connection, I stumbled across this blog about cloud computing, which I thought I would share with the class.
I have had a very eventful and stressful summer. It all started off well with a trip to Germany. Then we started remodeling the bathroom early in the summer, which we finally completed in July. A very nice woman let us live with her for a month while they did the work. If only Home Depot hadn’t damaged the tub, life would have been a lot easier. My husband’s father passed away somewhat unexpectedly during the renovations, which just added to our stress. So, I chopped of my hair in hopes a short cut would be easier, which it never is. Maybe I’ll go shorter still….any opinions?
Looking forward to next class Pete.

August 18, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008

Yet another exciting class in GIS 121. Worked a while trying to create a better looking flood hazard map of the Town of Fletcher. I think it came out okay. Since there were only about 10 panels to label, I decided just to create some graphic labels rather than starting a new annotation layer for the Flood Panels. It probably took the same amount of time and now I don't need to be confused by yet another annotation layer. And of course while printing, I managed to print the old version so I wasted still more paper. Very annoying.

Off to have a fun-filled weekend painting some rooms in the house.

May 2, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25, 2008

Apparently I skipped a few blogs, so I put two new maps to compensate. They show some potential annexations for the Town of Fletcher. The zoomed map illustrates a particular neighborhood with whom the Town Council will be meeting next week. Much more simple than maps I've been doing, but I know the community members will primarily be interested in the location of their property and whether or not they would be impacted.

Found the class discussions quite interesting today. I have been using the Gallery typeface on my maps lately, although is uses serif style so it may not be appropriate for a streets layer. No one has complained yet, so I'll keep using it. But I might start searching for a new favorite style.

Off to Charlotte for the weekend to visit the in-laws.

April 25, 2008

April 25, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April 4, 2008

Since I didn't get a chance to print a map in class, I've posted one on my blog. It is still a work in progress. Thus far I have created three annotation layers, one for Henderson County streets, one for Buncombe County streets, and one for water lines in the Fletcher vicinity. The map is close, but I still need to create a better database for the fire hydrants and add the locations of the three story building. I'm pleased with how it has turned out since there are many different layers. As long as the fire department is happy, it will be fine.

Otherwise, I'm researching which nearby jurisdictions have a fee in lieu of sidewalks program as Fletcher may consider this option once again. Apparently the Council turned it down a few years ago, but some new projects are forcing us to revisit the idea.

Hope everyone has been having a good week.

April 4, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March 14, 2008

I spent all week working on an annotation layer for the Town. It was definitely a pain to do and very time consuming. Luckily I didn't have much else exciting to put together. I think it came out fairly well, but if someone wants to take a look and let me know??? Next week I'll have to return to the fun of my fire department tasks.

Otherwise, it's been a slow week. And the office is closed on Friday so I'll have to miss class. I have the sad time of heading to Charleston for a long weekend.

March 14, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

March 7, 2008

Thanks to blogger I managed to lose my entire post, so I'm starting again. I really enjoyed the various exercises with 3D analyst. It's too bad that I won't be able to continue using it at work. Maybe I'll talk them into Spatial Analyst sometime. I'm also looking forward to the labeling exercise, as it will hopefully show me some faster methods to use.

I met with the Fire Department this afternoon. They actually need more than just a map, so Pete I'll need your help with some of the analysis. They will be calculating the total number of roadway miles within a certain distance of the fire stations, as well as the number of hydrants in this perimeter. Then I need to calculate the number of hydrants within 1000 feet of each other. Something for their rating system. It was interesting to hear them plotting how they respond to emergencies, but a bit confusing.

And since our fire marshall is leaving, I'm going to say ciao!

March 7, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008

Greatly enjoyed the lecture today Pete :-) Sounds like you had an interesting experience in Mexico...can't wait until I can go. I remembered what I've been doing this week at work. The Town annexed a new property, so I needed to update my layer files. And I was able to take a CAD file (.dxf) and put it into my existing shapefile. So I've been learning in class.

Now I'm off to Raleigh for a conference on Urban Design and then a CD release party for my husband's cousin. The group is now entitled "When Cousins Marry." I'm a bit worried about the party, but I'm sure it will be fine.

February 29, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

February 22, 2008

Since Pete didn't get the revised exercise on the blog correctly, the mapping exercise was a bit easier. Spent some time working on the map. Didn't have enough space on my flash drive to download the waterways layer, so I just used the major hydrography layer. I did find a layer containing federal lands, which show the national parks and forest. Also came upon the aerial images while searching the server, so I added that as well. At least it is a nice looking map.

Helped Tammy for a while trying to show clipping. Had problems I hadn't experience before and was able to solve some, but not all for her. Also showed how to insert the Title, Text Box, scale bar, etc. for the layout. Hopefully her map will be nice as well.

I'm off to meet with my cabinet lady. Hopefully we can get the layout finalized and get a price.

February 22, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

February 15, 2008

Since we're all sharing our favorite commercials, I thought I would join in on the fun. As you know, I'm a fan of birds so I thought this would be appropriate.

Class was really interesting today. I didn't know how easy it would be to use Google Maps, but I'm glad to have learned the basics. I can see Google becoming much more important in the world of GIS. Hopefully they can force ESRI to lower their prices.

Test results turned out fine. It appears as though some things are at least starting to sink in.

February 15, 2008

February 15, 2008 - My House

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Friday, February 8, 2008

February 9, 2008

Maybe I am actually learning something because the test questions seemed fairly logical for a change. The question is, have I learned more about map projections. I understand the concept and why they are needed, but I get very confused about the different types and when they are transverse, etc. As Pete said, we won't typically need to create the projections ourselves, so hopefully what I know will be enough. I'm sure the exercise next class will drive home any questions I might have.

I promised photos from Costa Rica, but my husband is slow. This is the only one he has sent me thus far. It is a female scarlet macaw sitting on her nest in Parque Carrara. It was actually pretty amazing that she came out when she did, as she was only visible for about 15 seconds. More amazing that Herb could get a photo. Hope you all enjoy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

February 2, 2008

Even though some of the information presented in Chapter 4 is a repeat of GIS 111, it's still confusing. It's still amazing how much background information is involved in addition to learning the software. I was very excited about the exercises in class about symbology. Although I've played around with the different functions some, it is a good tutorial about the different visuals that can be created. Don't know how I'll put them to use yet, but I'll try.

Been having a tough week at work. Trying to format a database provided to me by the fire marshall. I starting to get a bit annoyed with all the parcel numbers. I have different addresses, different business names,and multiple businesses per property. What a pain. If Pete can solve my problem relating tables maybe I can actually create a map.

And for those following my family my grandmother fell and broke her wrist and twisted her shoulder. She's had pins put in the shoulder and won't be able to use her arm (of course the right) for several weeks. Dad seems to be doing very well and he's been back at work for a few weeks.

February 2, 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 25, 2008

Sorry to have missed class, but I was having a fun time in Costa Rica. We were able to see the lava flow from the active volcano in Arenal. Also saw scarlet macaws in flight, eating, and nesting (very cool). Barely saw howler monkeys and a sloth, as they were just balls of fur. And have a great photo of a hummingbird sitting on her nest, which is the size of a tennis ball. If my husband remembers to download the photos, I'll bring some to class. It was a great birthday present to us both, and we even were upgraded to first class for free on the way there.

It's been a bit busy this week playing catch up at work, so I didn't have time to finish the assignment. Instead I've posted some maps I made recently at work. Hopefully I won't be too far behind having missed the lecture.

January 25, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008

I must say, I've missed coming to class. It is a very nice break after a long work week. I'm glad to have a variety of backgrounds in the class as well; I think it will make the course more interesting. I've been keeping busy at the office creating maps for a few other departments. The county also provided me with the 2001aerials, which is very beneficial. It will be interesting to compare them with the new 2007 aerials when they are ready for distribution.

Otherwise, sorry to be missing class next week but I'm off to Costa Rica for a week's vacation. It's a birthday present for myself and my husband. Have a great week!

January 18, 2007