Exploring Error and Uncertainty Related to Datums and Projections Using ArcGIS

Author: Nicolas R. Malloy

Table of Contents

  1. Exploring Error and Uncertainty Related to Datums and Projections Using ArcGIS
  2. Skill Drill: Setting Up Your Workspace
  3. Skill Drill: Downloading Data from Natural Earth
  4. Skill Drill: Connect to Your Workspace Folder in ArcMap
  5. Creating a File Geodatabase
  6. Creating Feature Classes from Shapefiles
  7. Adding XY Data using the ArcCatalog Window
  8. Skill Drill: Creating Indicatrices Using the Buffer Tool
  9. Evaluate Distortion Patterns in Map Projections
  10. Measuring Scale Distortion
  11. Skill Drill: Evaluate and Measure Distortion
  12. Troubleshooting Datum Shift
  13. Repairing Corrupted Data Using the Define Projection Tool
  14. Skill Drill: Repairing Incorrect Coordinate System Definitions

The goal of this activity is to review concepts related to datums, coordinate systems, and map projections and how to manage them in ArcGIS. Additionally, this tutorial introduces you to some new tools and concepts related to data management. In this activity, you create and organize a workspace folder using a standardized folder structure. You then download and decompress the data from public sources. Using the data, you create a geodatabase and explore issues related to error and uncertainty as it pertains to the potential spatial error related to datums, coordinate systems, and map projections.

Estimated time to complete this tutorial: 6 hours

Learning Outcomes

Readers should be able to accomplish the following outcomes by the end of this tutorial:

  • Summarize the steps for creating and organizing a project workspace folder structure
  • Illustrate the ability to download data from a public source
  • Demonstrate how to create a file geodatabase
  • Practice converting shapefiles to a geodatabase feature class
  • Add XY data in ArcMap
  • Exemplify the use of proximity operations such as buffers
  • Analyze distortion patterns using Tissot’s Indicatrices
  • Troubleshoot the causes of spatial errors and datum shift
  • Solve data alignment problems in ArcMap