Laboratory Exercise 3
and Area in a View
This laboratory consists of exercises from Chapter 11 of the lab text, Getting
to Know ArcView GIS, with the data obtained from the accompanying CD-ROM
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 reference spatial data to the real world, and how
to measure distances and areas in a variety of units using the digital maps associated
with Chapter 11. You will discover that area and distance measurements are dependent on
the projection that is specified. Each projection preserves a certain property of the
sphere or ellipsoid, i.e. a conformal projection in which the lines of
latitude and longitude meet at right angles, preserves the shape of a of an
area and can also be used for calculating distances between points. Examples
of conformal projections are the Lambert Conformal Conic and the Mercator projections.
An equal area or equivalent projection preserves the property of area,
and as such is used when area is to be calculated in an analysis. Examples of equivalent
projections are the Albers Equal Area and Sinusoidal projections.
In this exercise, you will measure distances and areas in different projection systems to
see how these quantities vary with the projection chosen.
For more information on these concepts, refer to the University of Colorado's
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 11a,b,c. The path to
the exercises may vary from PC to PC, so check with the lab instructor or lab coordinate.
Q1. What is the length of the new water line from where the new water line begins to the
proposed new housing development?
Q2. In drawing the rectangle that represents the soccer field, how do you set its exact
Q3. Record your actual distance measurements for the distance
between New York and Los Angeles for the following coordinate systems:
Q4. For the following projections, list the characteristics that are
preserved and those that are sacrificed:
If this form, for some reason, does not work, submit your Word-
formatted answers by way of e-mail to: