EXERCISE 2:  MAPPING GIS DATA In this exercise we will cover the basic concepts of displaying GIS data.  For this and proceeding exercises


In this exercise we will cover the basic concepts of displaying GIS data.  For this and proceeding exercises, there will be 3 parts to every exercise.  The first part will be the Chapter Review Questions at the end of the chapter.  In the second part, you will answer questions as you go through the Mastering the Skills section as part of the tutorial.  For the third section, you will explore practical applications of GIS using the techniques described in the chapter.  It may use data from the book in the Exercises section at the end of the chapter or data produced locally by the instructor.  Please follow the directions for how to open and access these data.   


Please answer each of the questions in the spaces provided.  Answer it using a color other than black.  If more than one question is asked of you, please be sure to answer all questions.  Save this document using the following naming convention:  LAST_NAME_GEOG2020_EX2.doc or .docx.  For example, if your name is Mary Smith, the name of the file that you will be submitting is SMITH_GEOG2020_EX2.doc.  This document is to be submitted through Canvas before the assigned deadline.  No assignments will be accepted in hard-copy (paper) format or via e-mail.     



Directions:  Read the Introduction and Mastering the Concepts in Chapter 2 (pages 41 – 53) and answer the following Chapter Review Questions.  Please provide your answers in complete sentences. 


2. For each of the following types of data, state whether it is nominal, categorical, ordinal, interval, or ratio. Explain your reasoning for choosing that data type.


Data Type


Bushels of Wheat
Per County



Vegetation Type



Average Maximum
Daily Temperature



Parcel Street
Address (e.g., 51 Main St)



Parcel ID Number
(e.g., 1005690)



State Rank for
Average Wage



Number of Voters
in a District



Student Grade in
a Class (e.g., A,B+)



Soil Type





4. If mapping the following attributes for counties, indicate which ones would generally be normalized and which would not.


Normalized vs Not
Normalized (Choose one)

Average Daily

Not normalized

Square Miles of


Median Rent

Not normalized

Total River



6. Which would take more storage space, a layer file showing all the US counties or a layer file showing all the US states?

Neither: the storage space would be the same.


8. What characters should be avoided when naming GIS files, folders, and map documents?

You should avoid spaces, and special characters when naming GIS files, folders, and map documents.


10. What does it mean if you find a red exclamation point next to a map layer? How would you fix it? (Hint: Fig.2.19)

A red exclamation point next to a map layer indicates that the pathname link has been broken, maybe due to data movement or deletion. To solve it, locate the source data and create a pathname particularly for that map layer that is intended for continually changing data.



Directions:  Follow the video entitled Mastering Tutorial Chapter #2 posted in Canvas.  In this exercise, we have migrated from our desktop GIS (which Mastering the Skills in the Book covers) to a map posted in ArcGIS Online (AGOL).  It has slightly different functionality, but we will be covering the data posted in the tutorial.  In it, we learn about the basic skills of GIS, viewing and adding data for the online map posted below.




As you follow the tutorial, please answer the following questions to ensure that you have captured the skills. 


1.                As you look into the layer list, you can see two different maps for median age.  Briefly explain why they look different (You may need to expand the drop-down arrow for the layers). 


2.                As you open the attribute table for counties, what type of data is CNTY_FIPS (nominal, ordinal, categorical, interval, ratio)?  What are some indications that tell you it is this data type?


3.               What type of data is POP2010?


4.               Briefly explain the importance of setting transparency. 


5.               Briefly explain the difference between vector and raster data? 


6.               Briefly explain why you can not open the attribute table for raster data? 





Directions:  Keeping this tutorial map open or refreshing on it, answer questions 1 through 5 using the skills learned in this tutorial.        


1.  Open up the attribute table for volcanoes.  What type of data is the attribute NAME?  


2.  What type of data is ELEVATION?  Briefly explain why. 


3.               Of the 20 volcanoes in the database, which of these volcanoes has lowest elevation?


4.               On the map, you can see that volcanoes are represented by increasingly larger triangles.  What attribute within this dataset makes these symbols appear larger? (You may need to expand the drop-down arrow for the layers) 


5.               If you move to oregon_slopeclass layer, it is raster data layer of slope at this pixel level.  It is derived from the oregon_gtopo1km layer which represents elevation at 1 km pixel resolution.  What type of data is the oregon_slopeclass displaying (nominal, ordinal, ratio, categorial or interval)?





1.                Using Google or another search engine, find one map application on the Internet that we haven’t used in prior exercises) before and open it up.  They may be related to your major (Social Work) or available through my External Links.  


What is the name of the application and what is the URL (HTTP address)?



2.               Name one feature class in the map.  It may not have a name in the table of contents, so you may need to describe it.


3.               Name just one attribute that appears when you click on a feature.  What type of data is it? (nominal, ordinal, ratio, categorial or interval).





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