Saturday, December 27, 2008

Finally found the jump drive that had my original bike map on it. damn.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Explanatory Notes

In exercise 1 I didn't have a hospitals layer, so I just labelled the cities as if they were hospitals. I figured the point of the exercise was that I could display the H symbol, not that I could find the right layer and put it in my map.

Similarly, in exercises 2-4 I didn't have any watershed data, so I used precipitation zones. I'm sure it looks sort of different, but the things I did to symbolize the layers are the same.

Also, on the challenge problem, the assignment said "show the major roads using the same symboloby as in the South Dakota map we used earlier in this chapter." Since I didn't have the SD_Roads.lyr file, I used the USA layer file that had a particular way of depicting roads on it.

My intention is not to be sloppy with the work, but I figure this is one of those times when being a perfectionist is overrated and the point is to prove that you can display stuff in different ways. and since I accidentally went out of my way and Followed Every Single Step of the entire chapter, when apparantly we were only supposed to do the bits labelled "Exercises" and "Challenge Problem", I feel pretty not guilty about the whole thing.

as far as journal entry goes, not too many thoughts from anna for the moment. just that I'll try to work on that whole paying attention in class thing when the professor is saying something important. ;) Hope your day gets less ughghghgh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

journal and explanations still forthcoming. going home now, eating snackish dinner, sleeping.

exercises 3,7,8

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When you're sitting in class taking a lab quiz is when you remember all the things you don't know how to do.

Pete had showed us the best way to snap an annotation to a wiggly line. It was one of the drawing tools. He made it look easy, but I couldn't find it last night. This is me taking note so I find it in the future.

That's all I can think to put in my journal for now. I didn't think to put my map in the journal last night. Journal wasn't exactly one of my big priorities at the time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Utter Nerdiness (and a projections assignment)

so i downloaded the wrong data last week, that's why my map looked funny. but it was the data he told us to download, so it's not my fault.

nice to know that all my troubles this summer and all the gis angst could have been alleviated by one simple tool in arc toolbox and a little bit of understanding of projections.

... so my latest cartographic daydream is all the nifty data i have access to on city of Asheville.

fire stations

... See when I was a kid, SimCity came out. My all-time favorite computer game ever. Yeah, these were the days before World of Warcraft. My brother bought it with his allowance, and I reaped the benefits, and spent many hours poring over maps of Asheville, wishing I could figure out how to reproduce Asheville using SimCity. But the zoning mystified me, and I didn't really know how to tell the difference between commercial and industry, so I shelved that dream.

And now, holy s--t, as an adult I realize all these layers are fully downloadable, complete with coordinates. I could totally do it with accurate zoning, accurate roads, the whole 9 yards.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Projections, Transit maps

map from projections project
I've been reading a book about the graphic design of urban rail and subway system maps. There was a gas shortage so all the libraries were closed one weekend, so I had to go to the bookstore, and I saw it and thought wow, how interesting.

Anyway, it's totally counterintuitive. The less accurate and topographical these maps become, the clearer. The book talks about 45 degree angles a lot. all the angles in a particular subway schematic might be only 45 degrees or 90 degrees. This is of course very different from the actual angles in real life.

I particularly like the Chicago one. Here's a copy.
incidentally, when I googled chicago mta, I found a link to the image which was left by its own designer. wow! His words are here on cartotalk:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bike Map, finished version at end of class on Tuesday 9-23-08

Bike Map, more progress

Now we get down to the detail work, where I have this huge map, and it's impossible to see all of it at once, much less know if the labels look ok. one can zoom in, but how do you then know you aren't missing out on some place? i guess that's why we put graticule on the map, huh. so when I zoom in to B1, I can check that off some list and move on to B2. Dang, that's one of the 10 map elements that could be on every map that I didn't remember when I was taking my test. Graticule. What a cool word, maybe I'll remember it now.

Today I remembered my jump drive, but forgot to bring a pencil and my text book. I am not always this crazy. It is really just Tuesdays.

Here is what I have at the moment at several zoom layers. My roads annotation seems to have disappeared again. Sort of weird. It had reappeared last week by the end of class.

Really it looks much the same as it did two weeks ago. Actually I think it looked better two weeks ago. Depressing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An open letter to Asheville City Transit

(now that I have your attention. ... I posted this in my comments, but people often forget to read the comments of comments)

Thank you for your feedback, paul -v-.

I created the Asheville Transit layer as part of a final project for an intro to GIS class I took last semester at AB Tech. I was naive and thought it wouldn't be difficult to create! I georeferenced an Asheville City transit map to a Buncombe Streets layer, and then I selected the portions of the streets that overlapped and exported them into the various routes. When I was done with all the routes, I consolidated them all into one layer. I am rather proud of it. There are a few mistakes, the digital equivalent of typos. and I believe I only put the daytime routes on it.

It was very educational and I know much more about Asheville Transit Routes than I did before.

The assignment was to perform some kind of analysis. I compared the transit map to population density information gleaned from 1990 TIGER/Census data and found that while the transit routes match up pretty well with areas of high population density, the Enka-Candler area has a much higher population density than other places that Asheville Transit serves, like Weaverville and Black Mountain. And Asheville Transit only goes to the DMV and then stops. I also applied a buffer -- I think I put it at two miles -- around transit routes, assuming that most folks desperate enough could be reasonably expected to walk two miles to the nearest bus stop. Therefore, I only looked at areas of high pop density which were outside of the 2-mile buffer.

I concluded that while my census data was almost 20 years out of date, it seemed reasonable that the population of the Enka-Candler area has only increased in the last 20 years, and thus is all the more in need of transportation further out Smokey Park Highway than the DMV.

I also looked at the density of elderly folk and renters, those being the closest I could approach to the demographics that might be expected to ride Asheville Transit. And these, too, came out to be high in the Enka-Candler area and indeed higher there than in other places that Asheville Transit does serve.

It was the overambitious naivete of a beginner that caused me to embark on such a project in ArcMap, but it was also that I worked a boring job as a data-entry clerk and it was a great opportunity to come home and apply my brain to something interesting and analytical.

I suppose I should have told someone at Asheville Transit sooner about my results. But then, I was just a data-entry clerk at the time, and my analytical thoughts seemed pretty irrelevent in the grand scheme of things.

Unfortunately I cannot find a copy of the maps or analysis that I turned in as my final project. This is what the Asheville Transit project looked like in its initial stages, before I finished the transit layer and added the buffers:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No Subject

well, I only got one dot when i attempted to add the x,y data. even though there were tons in the attribute table. does not make sense. nonetheless, my map is beginning to look sorta awesome.

The top picture is zoomed out to buncombe county. the lower one was at what arcmap claimed was "100%" therefore, i assume it best represents the scale that would show in my printed out version.

well, it's a work in progress anyway. light blue is asheville transit routes. purple is bike routes. red is highways.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

LEAF, font advice

Here is my belated LEAF map. I know, it's ugly. I ran out of time to make it less so.

Re: Our lecture on fonts yesterday, if anyone wants advice on fonts, I do carry a lot of them around in my head. Have spent last 4 months trying to figure out what is a good font for a construction business? an ice cream parlor? a Mexican restaurant? a real estate business? a cattle auction business? a political party?

When I first started, I was totally intimidated by fonts, but if you use them, you'll learn them, and you'll learn what works and what doesn't work and messes up when you try to pdf it.

Just skimming off the top of my head, maybe not really very applicable to cartography, some nifty fonts:

delta hey max nine and zorba are two of my personal favorites. These are funky, playful fonts you don't get to use very often.

for a more professional looking font but still one that is artistic looking, I generally go for Californian FB.

for a solid, '90s feel, I go with one of the versions of Futura -- I forget which it is I'm thinking of.

A totally macho, plumbing and power tools and heavy equipment kind of font is Impact.

a classical neoGreek-looking kind of font is Papyrus.

There are a lot of loopy, pretty fonts meant to look cursive-inspired. You can find many of these by going through and trying fonts with French-sounding names. My personal favorite of these though is Marigold. But you have to have pretty large text for it to be properly legible. Another pretty one to sometimes experiment with is Centaur.

Of course, most of the time, (and especially with cartography as opposed to ad design) you are looking for a quieter more toned down font, something that looks professional but doesn't yell it. I don't remember the names of these as well, and there are tons of them. Gill Sans is what you use when you want something like Arial that isn't Arial. Blue Highway is one that is playful but in a quiet kind of way. Bookman and the Berhards and Bernhards are some that are similar to Times New Roman, but aren't Times New Roman, and they can be very attractive. Courier is a typewriter kind of looking font. Palatino and Garamond are nice.

The main thing with fonts is to just be patient. You can picture the font you want in your head. Something which fits your criteria is out there. There are tons of them. You just have to be willing to go through and find it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kigali angst

Finally figured out how to get the X,Y points into my map, great. Now I just have this small problem that Kigali, Rwanda shows up in Tanzania. I tell the points layer that it needs to be the same coordinate system as the rest of the map. Kigali, Rwanda is still in Tanzania. Also, Bequia is floating out in the middle of the Caribbean.

Oh well, good thing I have Labor Day off work, right. I've been having this sort of thing happen to me all summer, so I guess what else is new, right? If it happens with CAD layers and contour lines, naturally it'll happen with LEAF International villages. I guess I'll sleep on it and try to figure it out in the morning.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Contour Line Angst

Doing a map of a property in Gaston County, NC. Found a place where I could download contour lines. They're DLG files. And Hypsography translates as contour lines in English, all things we learned in class last semester, but I had to review to re-remember. Lately I've been coming across a lot of data that I download and then it tells me it doesn't have spatial reference information. For instance, this happened with the orthophoto. But I was able to download a grid kind of guide thing and the orthophoto fit in perfectly. The hypsography comes with coordinate boundaries, and on the website, for example, it says Left: -81 degrees 30' 00 ". But this doesn't translate over when I drop it into arc map and I'm left with my contour lines floating out in the middle of nowhere at an extent which says something like Left: -81.250015 ??.

I was thinking I'd be able to just type in the coordinates into somewhere, but this extent with a question mark isn't a changeable field. I search Arc GIS desktop Help for "Extent" but it only wants to tell me about extent rectangles, something I already muddled my way through a few months ago.
of course my contour lines don't contain a damn thing that is georeferenceable. But I'm sure if I knew what to do with the coordinates -- and if I knew how to do the homework from the first day of class that I missed, then I would also know how to use coordinates to map something.

It's got to be the most simple, basic function in arcmap; somewhere you type in coordinates and suddenly it knows where to put your stuff. Did we learn how to do this? And why don't I remember? And why can't I figure out what to search for in Help or where to look in one of my textbooks to figure this out?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Squares, Columns, Visual Hierarchies, Trains

Since I've been a graphic designer for the past several months, (designing newspaper ads in Quark Xpress--my job interview was the day after the final project was due in 111 [I started reporting only this week, our reporter went on maternity leave and didn't come back]) the visual hierarchies and the white space and the dangers of boxes, end up being eerily deja vu - ish. I'm like, wow, I've been thinking about this stuff all summer (not to mention the maps for the real estate guy).

Anyway, have read the chapter. Haven't done LEAF map yet. Yes, missed the first day of class. Had a urinary tract infection. I'm sure you wanted to know THAT. Was late to class today because the Madison County Government's web site claims the Animal Control Board Meeting is the last Tuesday of even-numbered months. It isn't true. Madison County is teaching me to trust nothing I read on the internet. I sat on a bench in front of the courthouse in the rain for the first hour of class, watching the sky get darker and the rain thicker, listening to trains go by. Fortunately I'd brought a book. Reading "Half of a Yellow Sun" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. So I was reading a fictional account Biafra/Nigeria in the 1960s as I sat in front of the white-columned courthouse with the confederate monument in front of it. No one had showed up by 7 p.m. so I came to class.

Those are my excuses. I'ma go figure out the LEAF map now.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Title

I know, I'm being stubborn and choosing to do things the hard way by doing my final project on topic of my own choosing. But I like it that way. That's just the kind of thing I would do.

Oh well. gotta go study for the test.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Terrain Analysis

Aspect, slope & elevation, Polk County. I chose Polk County because I think that's where the Saluda grade is -- that big steep hill that says you're re-entering the mountains.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Journal Entry

Oops. I forgot to post a Journal Entry last Thursday. Here's a brief update of the sort of stuff I'm working on on my final project.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Raster Analysis

note that these are in reverse order. 3, 2, 1

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Last Thursday

Fixing to get started on the Spatial Analyst assignment.

Meanwhile, here's my map from class on Thursday.

It bothers me that I didn't center the title properly, and of course, the border to the locater map is too close to the title, but this are little layout issues and easily fixed.

Edit: Yeah, so it looks like I didn't install the spatial analyst extension. I tried to do it now but the only thing that happened is my computer crashed. It still doesn't appear when I go to activate extensions. I guess I'll show up in the computer lab tuesday after work to do this assignment.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Land Cover-Asheville

I downloaded a nlcd raster.
Here's the Asheville area. I thought it was kind of pretty.
Wanted to do some analysis on it, but I couldn't use any of the selection tools on it. I guess because it's raster data.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chapter 12

I took the suggestion in the book to change the colors on Map B, so that's why it's red and blue.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I realize now that Asheville zip codes are not the same as asheville city limits, so just because Erwin High School is in Asheville according to its street address doesn't mean it is actually in Asheville. I guess it just means it's not in Leicester (whose boundaries would be by zip code because it is unincorporated) and it's not in Asheville (which gets to decide where its boundaries are and i know where they are -- they're where the Welcome to Asheville sign is near the laundromat on Leicester highway). So Asheville zip code is not Asheville city.

Which means Erwin High School is actually ... nowhere.

This is not really related. But a million times I have wished I had a map of Buncombe County's school districts so I knew where the Erwin district melts into the Asheville and Enka districts.

Because that is the community I spent my most formative years identifying with. Not Asheville. Not Leicester. That amorphous consolidation of urban and rural and whatnot that is the Erwin district. Those are my people.

Sorry I was grouchy in class today. Hungry. The actual stuff we were learning was awesome.

My dad is showing up at my house tomorrow at 5 am to go hiking on the AT. He wants to be in north Georgia and on the trail by 8 a.m. great. so if I looked tired in class it was preemptive.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The movie almost put me to sleep. I took a lot of notes though. Maybe we can blame my continued struggle with adjusting to daylight savings time and not the movie itself.

It's exciting as we move along through our textbook. I just hope I'll remember the useful things I learned today.

I realized my Bent Creek map was faulty. The one you have posted on the door is, I suppose, what they were supposed to look like. I never deleted the raster layer, and I have all my trails in purple. Now that I think about it, I realize I meant to go back and delete the raster layer and change the trails to their different colors. I really did. I guess I got distracted. My husband was trying to get me to watch a movie. Everything is his fault, really.

I guess it would be nice to have some kind of feedback to see how we are doing in terms of grades. Should I fix my Bent Creek map, or is it too late?

chapters 10 & 11

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More random musings

I know you've all been wondering when I was going to get around to figuring out what to post for my journal for last Thursday's class.

I've been thinking for my project, maybe instead of doing it on unemployment in Scotland County, NC, I'll do an analytical comparison between the locations of jobs in the Asheville area, the public transportation available, and the places where people actually live. It is my hypothesis that Asheville City Transit is designed with the idea that people live in neighborhoods around the city and work downtown. But I hypothesize that in reality most jobs are not downtown and Asheville's model of transportation is actually incredibly impractical for the vast majority of people in Asheville, not to mention the other parts of Buncombe County that it serves.

It will be easy to get population data by census tract, and I can probably georeference the transit map, but the more subjective part of my project will be the locations of jobs. I doubt they have a gis layer already around for that!

I can find the list of the county's top ten or so employers from the employment security commission web site. and then I guess what i'll do is look in the classifieds. Maybe we can assume that if I take a large enough sample of job openings which list physical addresses, then I will have an accurate enough sampling of the locations of jobs.

And if these jobs are new or emerging, even better, then we're developing a transportation map that is prepared for the future.

Of course I'm no expert and I don't know a damn thing about transportation planning, but, it'll be fun. I'll find a few scholarly articles on the subject to add to my footnotes.

Thursday, March 6, 2008