Fall 2020: The midterm evaluation below is written as if you are doing the work in the GIS lab. I’m sure you can make adjustments if you are doing it on a computer not in the lab. Please let me know if you run into any issues: I’m happy to make adjustments as needed given COVID and et al. For example, if you don’t have the Delaware County imagery (if it was too big to move) I can suggest an alternative (I think this is part of one of the questions below).

Updated 10/6/2020

This evaluation, completion of which will, quite possibly, be the crowning achievement of your many years at Ohio Wesleyan, integrates concepts learned in the Schuurman and Mitchell texts, the software learned in Getting to Know ArcGIS, and your review of the Delaware GIS data. This is a real pip of a mid-term evaluation with a staunch multiplexity of learnings.

Save any maps or new shapefiles you create in your own directory (folder with your name in the Geog 355 folder). Don’t modify the original Delaware data files if you can help it. If you do, let me know so I can replace with unaltered versions. Include the maps you create in your exam (Google Drive, PDF, Word).

Please do your own work. Give each of the applied questions (Part II below) the old college try before consulting with me or your co-students. I am happy to have you consult with each other and myself, but not to simply copy someone else’s work. Learning from others (and the software Help, and the Internets) is an important part of using GIS.


You will have to figure things out that go beyond the specifics of what you have learned so far in the class (try using the ArcGIS online help or Googling, as per my pre-blobfish admonition).  Don’t freak out or get frustrated!  Again: ask your instructor or fellow classmates if you are really stuck on a particular question, but give it the old college try first.

Approximate amount of pages for each question are noted. I am assuming 1-inch margins, 12 point type, and space-and-a-half line spacing.  See the Geography 222 Digital Submission Guide for help with compiling and submitting a digital file.

Turn in a Google Drive document, Word doc or PDF of your typed answers (space and a half, normal margins) and insert maps.

Due sometime late October or early November or whenever you see fit. (via email or Drive)

I. GIS Concepts (4 pages)

  1. Distinguish GISystems and GIScience. Provide at least two examples of issues related to these two facets of GIS. Draw from any of our readings. (1/2 page)
  2. Define and distinguish discrete and continuous features and provide one example of each from the Delaware Data. (1/2 page)
  3. Define and distinguish vector data from raster data and provide one example of each from the Delaware Data. (1/2 page)
  4. Define and distinguish geographic features from geographic attributes and provide two examples from the Delaware Data. (1/2 page)
  5. Define metadata in relation to GIS, using books or the web. Describe the basic characteristics of metadata, why it is important, and provide examples. (1/2 page)
  6. Schuurman goes on and on about epistemology and ontology and GIS.  Describe these two terms and provide examples of why they are relevant to GIS. (1 1/2 page)


II. GIS Applications (9 pages, 10 maps)

Some of the questions below require you to make up a problem or scenario then use GIS analysis to solve that problem. Feel free to be as creative as you want to be. Less boring is always better. Make sure to create decent looking maps with appropriate symbols and legends as part of each step and include them with your answers. I can advise those of you who did not take Geog 222 or 353 on such map design issues.

The Delaware Data Inventory got you reviewing the new Delaware Co. GIS data as well as copying it to the C: drive. Thus you should be familiar with all the data. Along with the imagery (to be left on the G: drive) this data should be used for the questions below.

1. Selecting and Classifying Land Uses: Create a map that shows the 6 different major categories of land uses (agricultural, mineral, commercial, residential, exempt).  These land use codes are in the Parcels data (the class column).  Select one of the categories, and create a second map showing all the sub-classifications in that category.  Refer to the Delaware County Land Use Codes (below) for category and subcategory information.  Symbolize each category with an appropriate color.  Add appropriate additional data (such as road center-lines) for reference and make your map look decent.  (1 page description + 2 maps)

Delaware County Land Use Codes: click to enlarge, don’t click to not enlarge.


2. Making New Shape Files from Existing Shape Files: Choose two Delaware data shapefiles, select a relevant subset of the data on those shapefiles, and create new shapefiles of the subset of data.  For example, you could select all wetlands and soils within a particular township or all wetlands and soils of a particular type in the entire county.  Create a map using your new shapefiles, add appropriate additional data (roads, etc.) and describe how what you did could actually be useful. (1 page description + map).

3. What’s Inside? Review ch. 5 from Mitchell (“Finding What’s Inside”) and pay particular attention to the section “Three Ways of Finding What’s Inside” on pages 96-97.  Describe a scenario where such analysis would help solve a particular problem, then perform that analysis using actual Delaware data layers.  More creative and sophisticated analyses will be rewarded.  Please model what you do after the example on pp. 96-97 (including classification and basic summary statistics and a decent finished map).  (1 page description + map).

4. What’s Nearby? Review ch. 6 from Mitchell (“Finding What’s Nearby”) and pay particular attention to the section “Creating a Buffer” on pages 124-5.  Describe (1 page each) three scenarios – buffering a point features, line features, and area features – where such analyses would help solve a particular problem, then perform those analyses using actual Delaware data layers.  Use multiple buffers in at least one of the examples.  More creative and sophisticated analyses will be rewarded.  Please include a decent finished map. (3 page description + 3 maps). Hint: Add the Buffer Wizard button to one of your toolbars: under the Customize Menu in ArcMap choose Toolbars then scroll to the bottom of the list and select Customize. Under the Commands tab, select Tools (from the left list). From the right list, select Buffer Wizard and click and drag to one of your toolbars. Click on that icon to open the Buffer Wizard and use for this question.

5. Mapping Change: Review ch. 7 from Mitchell (“Mapping Change”) and create a time-change map of subdivisions in Delaware Co.  View the subdivision file (in Delaware Data) and look at the table: there is temporal information here: the date that the subdivision was established (in a peculiar format).  Create a graduated color map of subdivisions based on this temporal data.  Classify the data so it makes some sense (1850-1900, 1900-1930, etc.) and choose an appropriate color.  (1 page description + 1 map)

6. Creating new Features: Review Section 4  in the Getting to Know ArcGIS text and describe a scenario which would lead you to create new point, line, and polygon features on new shapefiles. Use ArcCatalog (go to Programs in Windows, then ArcGIS, then ArcCatalog). Open your personal folder, then File >> New >> Shapefile. Create a point, line (polyline) and area (polygon) shapefile. Import the projection/coordinate system from the Delaware orthophoto for each of these new shapefiles. Do this in ArcCatalog: right-mouse-click on new layer: properties >> xy coordinate system >> import coordinate system (globe looking symbol) and navigate to one of the Delaware shape files. Then hit OK. In a .mxd file, add the Orthophoto, then your point, line, and area shapefile. Open the Editor menu (Customize >> Toolbars)  and start editing. Select a particular area of Delaware County, and use the Orthophoto as the source for your new map layers.  Add some basic information to the attribute tables associated with each new map layer you create. (1-page description + map with new point, line, and area features).

7. Geocoding / Address Matching: Certain kinds of locational data (street addresses, zip codes, counties) need to be assigned coordinates (such as latitude & longitude) before you can map them out. Geocoding / Address Matching tools in GIS help you with the process of determining coordinates for locational data without coordinates. In Geography 222 I have students do a quick exercise in Geocoding using free online tools. In this question, I ask you to go one step beyond this by getting the Geocoded data into ArcGIS and using that data in an application. The data are registered sex offenders in Delaware County.

The routine below may no longer work. So do this:
1. From the page of sex offenders, on your browser save as… and source (or .html). Save to your desktop.
2. You can use excel to get data from that file. If it does not work,
3. Go to https://www.convertcsv.com/html-table-to-csv.htm and from there use the file saved to your desktop. This site does not get the correct data if you use the URL directly. So you have to use the saved .html file.

See if you can “scrape” this from the internet: convert web data into Excel data:

  • while in Excel (PC), choose Data > then From Web,
  • paste the URL (for sex offenders, link above)
  • you may have to agree to the terms (checkbox at bottom of page)
  • errors with a script on page? just hit no to continue
  • be aware that the sex offender data is spread over three pages on the web, so you will have to get the url for each, and go through this process for each
  • then clean up the data and get all in one spreadsheet: this includes getting all of the three columns of address data into one column. There are various ways to do this (it’s called concatenation, I think). One way that I figured out with Justin:
  • copy the three columns from Excel and paste into Notepad (a simple text editor for Windows)
  • copy everything from Notepad and paste into a new Word doc.
  • The problem is that there are tabs between the street address, city and zip code.
  • To find and replace all the tabs with spaces, go to Find and find ^t (which is the symbol for tab) and replace with 2 spaces.
  • Now add OH to the end of each address.
  • Now copy and paste into one column in Excel.
  • Remove PO boxes, apartment numbers, etc.
  • What is left can be copied and pasted into GPS Visualizer (below)

Once you have the sex offenders in an Excel file all tidied up, do the following:

Go to GPS Visualizer Geocoder

  • Copy and Paste data from the Excel File
  • Use this AP key: AIzaSyCuXC2qucAmzJxnTNXcFtKaUgP4eR8dtrc
  • Under Draw a Map option, select KML and save the Geocoded file in your course folder
  • Open ArcGIS and create a new .mxd file
  • Go to Arc Toolbox
  • Go to conversion tools
  • Go to KML to Layer
  • Select your KML or KMZ file in the first field
  • Don’t change the output location!
  • Click OK

Your KML/KMZ should appear in a few moments; you can now add other Delaware data layers to the .mxd file.

Once you do this, you should see the locations of Delaware County sex offenders mapped out. Use this data in a made up application. For example, Select all the sex offenders that live within a half mile of Ohio Wesleyan.

Good Luck!

Don’t Panic! Have a cig and relax!

Don’t put this off until the last minute: it will take some effort to complete some parts of this fascinating and evocative evaluation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: