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.