Managing Geospatial Data Using ArcGIS

Managing Geospatial Data Using ArcGIS

A picture of Nicolas MalloyAuthor: Nicolas R. Malloy

The goal of this activity is for students to learn how to acquire data from a public source and how to practice essential file management as it relates to geospatial data. In this exercise, you will download GIS data from the Humboldt County website. You will create and organize a project folder using a standardized folder structure. You will then download and decompress the data. The files included four shapefiles representing roads, fire hydrants, the Humboldt County boundary, and election precincts. Once you are done managing and arranging your data using Esri ArcGIS software, you will compress your entire project folder with the data intact.

For this tutorial, you will need to have ArcGIS Desktop installed on the computer from which you are working. If you are a registered student at Humboldt State University, ArcGIS Desktop is installed in the HSU Library as well as in several computer labs on campus including, NR 203, FOR 203, FOR 204A, SCIA 364, and FH 106.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this tutorial should be able to:

  • Summarize the steps for creating and organizing a project workspace folder structure
  • Describe best file management practices for transferring geospatial data
  • Demonstrate the ability to download data from a public source
  • Practice decompressing zipped files into a specific folder
  • Compare workflows for geospatial data in Microsoft Windows File Explorer and Esri ArcGIS
  • Examine data using ArcGIS software
  • Identify the main features of the ArcMap user interface
  • Locate and add additional toolbars in ArcMap
  • Practice looking up properties for both a data frame and a shapefile in ArcMap
  • Apply direct selections to map features in a data frame
  • Demonstrate the relationship between the map in the data frame and records in the attribute table
  • Repair data sources in ArcMap
  • Practice compressing a project level folder with contents intact