Updated 3/5/2014

This evaluation, completion of which will, quite possibly, be the crowning achievement of your time 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 snapper of a midterm evaluation!

Save any maps or new shape files 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 word processor, PDF, Word, or Open Office format).

Resources for Exam: Delaware County Land Use Codes are at the end of this evaluation, and a DBF data file is required for the last question in part II.  Just unzip and save the file to your personal folder, don’t open it. If that does not work for you, a copy is on a CD (humorously labeled flapjack) in the top map drawer nearest the door in the GIS Lab. Return it if you use it. Or email me if you are confused.

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 other’s (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 Wednesday March 5 by 5pm (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 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.

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)

2. Making New Shape Files from Existing Shape Files: Choose two Delaware data shape files, select a relevant subset of the data on those shape files, and create new shape files 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 shape files, 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 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 shape files. 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) shape file. Import the projection/coordinate system from the Delaware orthophoto for each of these new shape files. In a .mxd file, add the Orthophoto, then your point, line, and area shape file. 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 is registered sex offenders in Delaware County (download). I “scraped” this from the internet (converted web data into Excel data). There are comma and tab separated versions of the data. If one does not work, try the other. Once you download do the following:

  • Go to GPS Visualizer Geocoder
  • Copy and Paste data from the Excel File
  • Email me for an AP key, or follow the instructions (“Get A Key”) to get your own (you can use the same one you generated in Geog 353 if you took that class)
  • Under Draw a Map option, select KML and save the Geocoded file
  • Transfer to the instructor computer in the GIS Lab
  • Create and save a new .mxd file and add road center lines as a layer
  • In the Arc2Earth menu import your Geocoded file
  • Hit Map
  • The layer created (called something like Imported Data) needs to be exported as a shape file. Right mouse click the sublayer called Points then Data, then export as a shape file in your directory. Add the exported layer to your project.
  • Remove the Import data layer.

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!


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

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



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