arcgis

GIS - MORE, Better, Faster

We have implemented a system of distributed, synchronized GIS databases across the state.  This should substantially increase the speed with which you can access and navigate GIS data in ArcMap.

There is now a copy of our GIS layers stored on the U:\ drive in each regional office as well as for Nampa Research and Eagle Lab.  The database, U:\GIS_IDFG.gdb will be synchronized nightly with the main database at HQ.

We have also added a directory of Layerfiles to the U:\ drive.  The directory is located at U:\IDFG_Layers.   The Layerfiles reference the data in U:\GIS_IDFG.gdb and provide predefined colors, symbols, and labeling.  You may add them to your map document through ArcCatalog, the AddData button, or the LayerFetcher.

Some of the Layerfiles, such as the aerial imagery and topo base maps, point to data that is delivered via the internet.  The speed at which these layers draw will depend on the speed of the internet connection at your regional office.  You can navigate around your map more quickly if you keep these layers turned off until you need them. The internet base map layers are located in the WebBaseMaps subdirectory of IDFG_Layers.

Other subdirectories include Hunt, Fish, Conservation, and Reference.  Go in to ArcCatalog and take a look around in U:\IDFG_Layers and U:\GIS_IDFG.gdb to see what’s available.

This should be a significant improvement for IDFG GIS users but there will be some pain.  Many of the data connections in your existing Map Documents may be broken.  This is actually a good thing.  It will encourage you to connect to the newer, better, faster data.

If you find a broken connection in your map:

Right-click the layer in your map project.

Select Data --> Repair Data Source --> Navigate to U:\ GIS_IDFG.gdb and select the equivalent layer - OR - use the LayerFetcher to add the new layer and remove the old one.

See this post on repairing broken data sources for a visual step-by-step and more options for fixing broken connections.

Thank you for your patience during this transition.

ArcGIS 10.1 TIP: Setting Projections as 'Favorites' in ArcGIS 10.1 - *NEW* in 10.1

New in 10.1!

Tired of scrolling through all the possible projections when you only use about 3 or 4 of them?  In ArcGIS 10.1 you can now save commonly used projections as a ‘favorite’.

Next time you are specifing a projection for a dataset you can mark the projection as a 'favorite' by simply clicking the 'star icon' in the top right corner of the dialog box.

Next time you need to specify that projection, simply look for it within the 'favorites' section.

 

 

 

Creating a Roadkill Observation Density (aka Hotspot) Map

 

On the IFWIS Roadkill Observation webpage (https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/observations/salvage/), click Export Roadkill Data near the lower-right corner of the page.  This leads you to a records filter that allows you to query by species, date observed, highway, and milepost.  Once you have applied the filter(s), the data can be downloaded as an Excel .csv file, which can then be saved as an .xlsx file.  In ArcCatalog, create a point shapefile or geodatabase feature class (right-click the .xlsx file and click ‘Create Feature Class’). In ArcMap, use the Spatial Analyst toolbox --- Density toolset --- Kernal Density or Point Density tools to create roadkill density rasters. Depending on what the output raster is being used for (as a visualization tool, for strict data analysis, etc.) one method may be preferred over the other (read more about the differences).  You can customize the output raster cell size and search radius. ArcMap provides a Spatial Statistics toolbox for Cluster and Outlier Analysis and Hot Spot Analysis that identifies statistically significant hot spots, cold spots, and spatial outliers using Anselin’s Local Moran’s I or Getis-Ord Gi* statistics.

 

BONUS:  Idaho Department of Transportation Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) data is available on the INSIDE Idaho website.  The Roadkill and AADT data can be “combined” (think raster math) to create a categorical map that simultaneously reflects roadkill and traffic density. 

  

 

Tips and Tricks when using a map created from ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

Here's a couple general tips and tricks when using a webmap created using  ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

  • The more you utilize the map data viewer, the refresh and drawing time will decrease. Your computer’s web browser will cache some of the data so next time you draw that area it should perform quicker.
  • Zoom into an area of interest before you check the data layers for display.
  • Only choose 4 or 5 data layers to display at any one time.  Displaying all the layers at once will tend to slow down the refresh time.
  • Pressing F5 will zoom to the original extent as when initially opened and refresh all the layers.

FREE College-Level GIS Educational Resources from Penn State

Penn State is now offering Open Education Resources for a number of their departments including Geography that hosts coursework for a number of GIS and remote sensing related classes offered at the university. The bonus is, you are allowed to use and re-use materials you find on this website. 

From the website: 

 

GIS & Remote Sensing coursework currently up on their website:

Take a look: http://open.ems.psu.edu/courseware

FREE GIS tools for Wildlife Habitat Connectivity, Suitability, and Occurence Modeling

Did you know there is a plethera of FREE, that's right I said FREE, ArcGIS tools and toolboxes available for wildlife habitat and corridor modeling? Conveniently, many of these tools are listed on the CorridorDesign website:

http://www.corridordesign.org/designing_corridors/resources/gis_tools/

Happy Modeling!

 

Adding Excel .xlsx files to an ArcMap 10 document.

Don’t ask  me why but…  if you have office 2010 on your computer, you have to install the office 2007 system driver in order to see .xlsx files in ArcMap 10.

It’s a quick install.  You can find it here.

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=23734

Calculating Extents in the Field Calculator

Here's a little shortcut.  You can calculate extents in the Field Calculator dialog using:

dim Output as double
dim pGeom as IGeometry

set pGeom = [shape]
Output = pGeom.Envelope.XMin

Choose advanced, paste what is above and set your field equal to Output. 

NOTE: If you want to add the values in Decimal Degrees or Web Mercator there's an app for that.  Ask Tim Williams how to install his Calculate Extent button.

Shapefile to Google Earth kml - Customize Symbol Properties and Labeling (NO PROGRAMMING REQUIRED!)

Although there is a tool in ArcToolbox (Layer to KML) that allows you to convert your ArcGIS file to a Google Earth KML file, this tool gives you no options for customizing how the information is displayed.

Let me present to you the opensource (aka FREE) Shp2kml tool:

http://www.zonums.com/shp2kml.html

Note:  The Download link is actually half way down the webpage, the large Start Download button at the top of the page is part of an ad for a different product.

Step 1:  Choose your input file and coordinate system.

Step 2: Decide which attribute you want to use as the label and check 'Mouse Roll over Effect' if you want to highlight a feature when the mouse is moved over it.

Step 3: Decide what color and transparency (opacity) you features will be.

Step 4: Decide what attribute information you would like in the pop-up balloon when a feature is clicked or selected and customize the balloons symbology.

Step 5: Give the kml layer a name and any descriptive information you would like and your done!

BRILLIANT!

 

 

Multi-line & Multi-colored Labels in ArcMap

Right-click the layer you would like to create multicolor/multi-line, choose Properties… and go to the Labels tab, and click the “Expression…” button.

For example, to have the New ID on top and the Old ID on the bottom:

[New_ID]&vbnewline&[Old_ID]

To have each a different color:

“<CLR Red=’255′>” & [New_ID] & “</CLR>” &vbnewline&”<CLR blue=’255′>”&[Old_ID]&”</CLR>”

The tricky part was figuring out that you had to put double quotes around the formatted text, and drop the normal double quote down to a single quote around the 255.