Intro to ArcGIS
I’m currently taking a three week intro course to GIS. At first I was a little hesitant to take it since I have a background in GIS already, but then reconsidered and am using this opportunity to view this course from a beginners perspective. Plus it would be nice to refresh some of my skills.
The first assignment is basically getting our feet wet with ArcGIS.com, which offers a free public website created by ESRI for creating and sharing interactive maps and other types of geographic information. Its website address is http://www.arcgis.com/home/ and is moderately intuitive to use. I say moderately because there are quite a few things you can manipulate with this resource, such as adding lines for custom roadways or paths, compared to the last time I used this site a few years ago.
There is also several types of base maps that allow you to use existing satellite maps, topographic (elevation maps with lines), road maps (abstract maps with pre-drawn line for major roadways), and hybrid maps (combined satellite and which are maps that you can draw over and add layers, and more. I took a screenshot of what the options are and the interface. Below is a basic map I created as a tutorial assignment of a path between the Dana Porter Library and the Waterloo Map Library. Ironically, I can’t embed the image into WordPress because for security reasons WordPress doesn’t allow external files and links to be embedded directly in its web pages. SO the screenshot will have to do! I’m testing the capability of the ArcGIS links to the larger and direct map below. I choose not to directly host the web applications on WordPress for the reasons just mentioned (incompatibility).