Laboratory Exercise 1

Getting Started with Maps and Data


Displaying Data


This laboratory consists of exercises from Chapters 3,4 and 5, and a reading assignment of chapters 1 and 2of the lab text, Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop, 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.

Lab 1 Introduces you to the main components of ArcView, namely ArcMAP and ArcCatalog.

In Chapter 3 (Exercises 3a, 3b, and 3c), you will learn how to display data in ArcMAP, about layers and attribute tables. 

In Chapter 4 (Exercises 4a, 4b, 4c), you will learn to search for map data using ArcCatalog and add it to ArcMAP.

In Chapter 5 (Exercises 5a, 5b, 5c, 5c, 5d) introduces you to to applying the appropriate symbols to represent map features and attributes. Note: Section 5b is important for the Term Project!

It is estimated that it will take from 3 to 6 hours to complete this lab. Please plan accordingly, so that all the answers to this lab are submitted at the same time.

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


Complete the answers to the questions posed below. The questions are based on the work you did in completing the lab exercises above, and the reading for the lab. Please form your answers using MSWORD and attach them to an e-mail addressed to Do not e-mail your answers to the instructor's e-mail!

Questions for Lab 1

Chapter 3

Q1. Define "vector" and  "raster".

Q2. A layer is defined as                                                         .

Q3. Define "feature" and "surface".

Q4. Each column in a table of information about features in a layer is called                                                     .

Q5. A layer that is covered by another layer so it can not be seen can be made visible by                                         .

Q6. When a layer is shown in the Table of Contents with a grayed out check mark - what does it mean?

Q7. In an attribute table, a cell contains the value of an attribute. Define cell.

Q8. What statistical functions are available for a column of data in an attribute table?

Q9. Why is the Statistics option grayed out when applied to a column of text?

Chapter 4

Q1.  What is ArcCatalog?

Q2. What are the components of an ArcCatalog Window?

Q3. What is a thumbnail graphic?

Q4. What is the difference between a data view and a layout view?

Q5. Define Metadata. Why is it important?

Chapter 5

Q1. What are symbols?

Q2. What is a categorical attribute?

Q3. What is the difference in effect between selecting the "Add Values" button, versus selecting the "Add All Values" button?

Q4. What are "pyramids"? What is their function?