data organizing

Back to GIS basics – how to move a shapefile between folders

Back to the basics, this video will show how to move shapefiles.  One of the complicated aspects about shapefiles is the number of extensions associated.  Shapefiles comprise of about 7 files.  When moving files, all files must be moved together.  Thus they cannot be in separate directories.  The scary part, is that all these files are visible in Windows Explorer, but in ArcCatalog, you’ll only see one file.

Side note, did you know you can open *.dbf files in Excel.  This will show you the attribute table.  Sometimes you can edit directly from this file.  If you have any questions, feel free to subscribe to the YouTube channel and get in touch with any questions.

Calculating area by boundary using Calculate Geometry

Calculating area is very easy in ArcMap.  Given a polygon, you can determine the area of a singular polygon.  This can be useful for comparing the size of one watershed to another.  This is quickly summarized in the following video:

From my perspective, this is a handy tool as it allows the user to bounce between units and can support later statistical analysis.  Statistical analysis will be addressed in a later video.

Correction projection in ArcMap from WGS 1984 to UTM NAD 1983 Zone 17

Probably one of the most common problem for any ArcMap user is the projection.  When map making, it is important to use the correct map projection to represent a location as effectively as possible.  When mapping small regions, districts or countries, it is important to project your data to a Universal Mercator Transformation (UTM).  In this video, we take a set of WGS 1984 maps and reproject it to UTM NAD 1983 Zone 17 for Toronto, Ontario.

In this video, batch operations can be handy for large data processes.  Personally, I like to prepare them in advance in MS Excel and copy it over, just in case I make modification on specific datasets.  You will also notice that we can run operation one-at-a-time.

You’ll also notice that we also employed a Geographic Transformation.  If you need more information on this, let me know.  I can certainly make a video for this.