Week 4: Updates

February 9, 2018

Nextdoor.com Delaware, Ohio Neighborhoods

After a bit of kanoodling about, I managed to get added to one of the Delaware Nextdoor.com neighborhood groups (Southside Delaware, which includes OWU’s campus).

I then did a series of screen captures to get the entire map (above) of Delaware’s neighborhoods, according to Nextdoor.com. Right mouse click on the map to get a bigger version.

I think this is a good starting point for our project. Keep searching for other relevant information (Delaware wards, subdividions, HOAs, etc.).

And keep up with the readings and such on the schedule.


Week 3: Updates

January 30, 2018

After our rousing meeting on Monday a few things can be reiterated:

  1. Please create your class blog and get me the URL by Thursday
  2. Please consult the course schedule and make a single weekly blog posting that includes
    1. reading notes (so I know you read the stuff)
    2. progress on the tutorial (when we get to it)
    3. project ideas, work on proposal, and updates
    4. other pertinent stuff (such as progress on your writing option, if you are doing one for this course)
    5. email me when you post your weekly post (no later than the Sunday at the end of the week)
  3. Lets plan to meet on Mondays at 1-2pm until further notice.
  4. I’m going to look into ArcOnline accounts for us
  5. We seem to be settling into the Neighborhood Mapping project
    1. scale is an issue:
      1. Delaware has wards (four of them, look it up)
      2. Below that scale, there are neighborhoods (“Downtown”)
      3. Below that scale, there are smaller neighborhoods (“Downtown SoWill” – downtown south of William St.)
    2. sometimes neighborhoods correlate with subdivisions (“Wesleyan Woods”): GIS data on subdivisions
    3. subdivisions have HOA boundaries (Home Owner’s Association): GIS data on HOA in Delaware?
    4. demographic data: from US Census: blocks, block groups, Census tracts (see below: two graphics)
      1. demographic data can be used to create neighborhoods, but this is a bit dangerous (why?).
      2. demographic data can be associated with neighborhoods (say, poverty rate), but this might also be a bit dangerous (why?)
      3. if the City wants to be able to match demographic data to neighborhoods, the neighborhood boundaries have to follow census boundaries (block, block group, etc.). This is important to build into the neighborhood boundary making from the start.

  1. Preliminary proposal, due Friday, February 9. This may be one big proposal, or several related smaller proposals. We’ll figure that out.
    1. Details on Project Proposal
  2. Go back and, individually, complete the Defining and Mapping Neighborhoods stuff from the previous update. Put on ye blog!
  3. Teh major issues: preliminary: these may be sub working groups and writing options if need be:
    1. Literature on Neighborhoods
      1. Academic – Planning, Urban Studies, Geography, etc.
      2. Other literature
    2. Literature and info on methods for determining neighborhoods
      1. surveys
      2. historical research (on Delaware)
    3. Using GIS to map and communicate neighborhoods
      1. including ArcOnline to make the data easily available

Please email or talk to me if you have questions along the way. Bothering me is better than you not doing what you are supposed to do!

Geog 355, Spring 2018: Week 2: Getting Started

January 22, 2018

  1. Review syllabus, schedule, readings, blogs
  2. Updated Projects page with examples of proposals, reports, maps, etc. for selected projects
  3. Discuss Project Ideas

Monday March 24: Projects

March 24, 2014


Time to get going on the projects, none of which, thank God, involve poorly conceived haircuts from the early 1970s.

1. Project Blogs

Make sure that your group are all able to get access to the project blogs I set up earlier in the semester. Make sure you put any relevant information for your project, including the preliminary project proposal, on the project blog.




2. Updates for each group:

Delaware Run:

I gave Ali Smith a copy of the document Peter Schantz sent me with his concerns from the perspective of Buildings & Grounds. We need to take those concerns and expand them and supplement them and develop an ArcGIS MXD file with appropriate data (using existing Delaware data, and data you collect).

Del Run MXD Project File: Ali Smith has been working on a MXD file that has relevant Delaware data layers. Part of this requires figuring out more information about each layer (such as what the soil types are and what they mean), the flood plane information, etc. You then need to plan for additional data collection: trees, (potentially) soil samples, infrastructure, etc. At this point: figure out a list of data you think would be relevant to the project and start to plan how to collect that data and get it into the MXD file

Thermal/Urban Heat Island:

I am having the QGIS software installed on the Geography Research room computer (224). That might take until the end of the week. In the meantime:

1) Carefully review the information on the tutorial I gave you last week, and see if you think you will be able to do the QGIS Tutorial once the QGIS software is available: Review the online info for QGIS.

2) Review info on Landsat Data.

3) I have had EarthExplorer recommended as the site to access and download the thermal IR data. This will be band 6 of the Landsat data (see the review PDF in part 2 above).

Chimney Swift / Bird Habitat:

1) Make sure that we have copies of the plans for the swift towers in a format that the contractor can review (also B&G). I believe Alex had this in Sketch-up but we need to print. I can get files printed in color at Duplicating.

2) Plan for revisions of the bird habitat map. The previous version, b&w copies of which I can give you today, is not so great. I suggest we start with a fresh MXD file of campus and surrounding areas (walkable from campus) and start to map out the different habitats as areas. There is a start to a classification of bird habitats on the old map: we can start with that. Look up additional info on defining urban bird habitat. Start to compile data into a MXD file. Plan for a map that fits on tabloid sized paper and can be used in the field. We will also map out existing bird houses, feeders, etc.

Dick Tuttle will be in class Wed and we need to review the plans with him (have printouts) and also get input from him on the habitats map.

Tech / Drone:

I suggest that Christian & Chris work with learning to operate the Drone and take images. We need to figure out the optimal resolution and other details for taking imagery.

Patrick can work on stitching together the imagery and adding coordinates (so we can display the images in ArcGIS): I will have Windows Photoshop installed soon. For now, the Mac in the back room off the GIS lab has an older version of Photoshop. There are also sites online for stitching together air images. Check out MapKnitter first, then CleVR or AutoStitch.

Delaware GIS Data Exercise

February 18, 2014


Each student will create an ArcMap map with the following Delaware GIS data layers & describe (sentence or two) all data layers except those marked ‘ignore.’ (the ignore folders have data that is not relevant, or newer versions of the data are in other folders)

In essence, you are creating a very brief set of metadata (data about data) for all the available layers of information. There may be several shape files (.shp) in these folders, make sure to review all of them.

Keep your brain engaged: how might some of these layers be used in your course projects?

Put your metadata information in a blog posting.

You will use some of this data for your take-home mid term exam.

DUE: Wednesday February 26.

Delaware GIS Data Metadata is here.

If any data folders are missing please talk to your instructor.

Delaware GIS Data Layers:

Delaware_2008 and 2010 Ponds and Lakes





Delaware_Building Outlines

Delaware_ Census_Biock

Delaware_ Census_BiockGroup

Delaware_ Census_ Tract

Delaware_Economic Development Layers











Delaware_Master Point Coverage


Delaware_Natural_Heritage_ ODNR

Delaware_ Orthophoto _Detailed_2010



Delaware_Places of Interest


Delaware_Public Land Survey System







Delaware_ TaxDist

Delaware_ Topography

Delaware_ Townships

Delaware_ Townships_Historical

Delaware_ Watersheds_ ODNR

Delaware_ Wetlands

Delaware_ Woodland_ ODNR



Ohio Wesleyan Parcels


M J 23: Geospatial Analysis text: Intro + Conceptual Frameworks

January 21, 2014

Technology shapes how we do things…stairs vs slides in buildings.

First: any additional introductions?

Geospatial Analysis – A Comprehensive Guide

Notes and examples on “Introduction & Terminology” and “Conceptual Frameworks for Spatial Analysis.”


Introduction & Terminology

1. On applications

2. GIS, Spatial Analysis, and Software

3. Terminology & Definitions

Conceptual Frameworks for Spatial Analysis

The Geospatial Perspective: “a distinct perspective on the world, a unique lens through which to examine events, patterns, and processes that operate on or near the surface of our planet.”

The domain of geospatial analysis is the surface of the Earth, extending upwards in the analysis of topography and the atmosphere, and downwards in the analysis of groundwater and geology. In scale it extends from the most local, when archaeologists record the locations of pieces of pottery to the nearest centimetre or property boundaries are surveyed to the nearest millimetre, to the global, in the analysis of sea surface temperatures or global warming. In time it extends backwards from the present into the analysis of historical population migrations, the discovery of patterns in archaeological sites, or the detailed mapping of the movement of continents, and into the future in attempts to predict the tracks of hurricanes, the melting of the Greenland ice-cap, or the likely growth of urban areas.

Geospatial Analysis: what happens where, and makes use of geographic information that links features and phenomena on the Earth’s surface to their locations.

1. Basic “Primitives”

  • place: complicated concept: Wikipedia
  • attributes: “any recorded characteristic or property of a place” + measurement levels (qualitative, quantitative) + examples in ArcGIS
  • objects: raster (images) & vector (points, lines, areas) below (from Making Maps):


justscale generalization

2. Spatial Relationships


  • spatial interpolation: filling in between known data


  • smoothing and sharpening (generalization; see above)

3. Spatial Statistics

4. Spatial Data Infrastructure


  • Interoperability: standards for spatial data (so everything works together): OGC

…All this jargon…



Next: Discuss and brainstorm ideas for course projects + working groups.

Assign: Mitchell ch. 1 (PDF) & refining ideas for the course project (including working groups, division of labor, etc.)

Mitchell Ch. 1 is useful as an overview of the GIS Analysis process. Akin to the research process in general. I will review this chapter for our next meeting.

Consider (and include in your blog posting for the reading):

  • How the course project you have an interest in can be approached and organized using the GIS Analysis / research process: a way of structuring your work on the project
  • How a project proposal (check schedule for due date) can be developed, including a plan and schedule for implementation, for your project. Work on this proposal will happen simultaneously with discussion of the readings and work on the software tutorial.
  • Identify and questions or issues you have, terminology, concepts, examples, etc.


Spring 2012 Finalizing Projects

April 15, 2012

On Monday April 16 groups will present a brief overview of progress on the course projects. For each project, please prepare a project report that documents and illustrates your project. The reports need not be lengthy, but instead concise. These reports will be read by other faculty, and students interested in continuing the projects in future semesters.

Below find a series of project reports from previous courses and independent studies. Your project should be documented in a similar manner, and submitted as a Word document (so I can edit if need be).