Laboratory Exercise 2

Getting Data into ArcView GIS


This laboratory consists of exercises from Chapter 8, and background reading from Chapter 2, of the lab text, Getting to Know ArcView GIS, with the data obtained from the accompanying CD-ROM (exercises 8a and 8b).

ArcView is a powerful desktop geographic information system (GIS) made by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). With ArcView, you can load any data that's linked to geographic locations and display it graphically as maps, charts and tables. You can also edit the data , change the way it's displayed, append additional data, create some of your own, perform queries to answer specific questions, or meet certain criteria, and analyze information statistically as well as spatially. Results can be shown as quality graphic presentations to print out or display your screen.

In this exercise, you will learn how to add themes to a view. Remember that geographic data sources fall into two categories: feature data sources and image data sources. Feature data sources contain map representations of geographic objects such as points, lines (arcs), and polygons, and the tabular data associated with these features. An image data source is only a raster image that has no other attributes and is used in these exercises as a background image. No GIS operations are performed on image data sources. (The extension Spatial Analyst will allow GIS operations on image data.)

In this exercise, you will create a map showing existing utilities for use in planning upgrades and additions. No such map currently exists, so you will have to create it from several different data sources. Then, sewer trenches are planned to be dug in a certain area and you will be asked to identify those property (and property owners) that will be affected.

For more information on these concepts, refer to the ESRI website.



With the supervision of your instructor, or lab coordinator, use the Getting to Know ArcView GIS CD-ROM to carry out the directions of exercises 8a and 8b. The path to the exercises may vary from PC to PC, so check with the lab instructor or lab coordinate.

Report Format



Q1. When you create a new view, the gray area to the left of View 1 is called the .

Q2. Define:

Q3. How did you make the air photo a background, with the other themes drawn over it?

Q4. Many GIS operations you will perform act only on active themes. How do you make a theme (or themes) active?


Q5. Name the three basic shapes that represent map features.

Q6. In a Desktop GIS, link features and their attributes.

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