You are on page 1of 30


What is GIS?
Geographic information system (GIS) is a system used to describe and characterize the earth and other geographies for the purpose of visualizing and analyzing geographically referenced information. It combines a powerful visualization environmentusing maps to communicate and visualizewith a strong analytic and modeling framework that is rooted in the science of geography.

Key aspects of GIS

ArcGIS combines series of fundamental aspects of GIS:
A GIS utilizes a layer-based geographic information model for characterizing and describing our world.

ArcGIS models geographic information as a logical set of layers or themes. For example, a GIS can contain data layers for the following:
Streets represented as centerlines Land-use areas that represent vegetation, residential areas, business

zones, and so forth

Administrative areas Water bodies and rivers Parcel polygons representing landownership A surface used to represent elevation and terrain An aerial photo or satellite image for an area of interest

Geographic information layers such as those described here are represented using a few common GIS data structures:

Feature classes:

Each feature class is a logical collection of features of a common type (such as the four feature types shown here).

Raster datasets:

Rasters are cell-based datasets used to hold imagery, digital elevation models, and other thematic data.

Attributes and descriptive information: These are traditional tabular information

used to describe features and categories about the geographic objects within each dataset.

Like map layers, GIS datasets are geographically referenced so that they overlay one another and can be located on the earth's surface

Georeferencing and coordinate systems

Georeferencing is about using map coordinates to assign a spatial location to map features. All the elements in a map layer have a specific geographic location and extent that enables them to be located on or near the earth's surface. The ability to accurately locate geographic features is critical in both mapping and GIS.

Describing the correct location and shape of features requires a coordinate framework for defining real-world locations. A geographic coordinate system is used to assign geographic locations to objects. A global coordinate system of latitude-longitude is one such framework. Another is a planar or Cartesian coordinate system derived from the global framework. Maps represent locations on the earth's surface using grids, graticules, and tic marks labeled with various ground locationsboth in measures of latitude-longitude and in projected coordinate systems such as UTM meters. The geographic elements contained in various map layers are drawn in a specific order (one on top of another) for the given map extent. GIS datasets contain coordinate locations within a global or Cartesian coordinate system to record geographic locations and shapes. In this way, multiple GIS data layers can be overlaid onto the earth's surface.

Latitude and longitude

One method for describing the position of a geographic location on the earth's surface is using spherical measures of latitude and longitude. They are measures of the angles (in degrees) from the center of the earth to a point on the earth's surface. This type of coordinate reference system is often referred to as a geographic coordinate system.

Longitude measures angles in an eastwest direction. Longitude measures are traditionally based on the prime meridian, which is an imaginary line running from the North Pole through Greenwich, England, to the South Pole. This angle is longitude 0. West of the prime meridian is typically recorded as negative longitude, and east is recorded as positive. For example, the location of Los Angeles, California, is roughly plus 33 degrees, 56 minutes latitude and minus 118 degrees, 24 minutes longitude.

Although longitude and latitude can locate exact positions on the surface of the globe, they do not provide uniform units of measure for length and distance. Only along the equator does the distance represented by one degree of longitude approximate the distance represented by one degree of latitude. This is because the equator is the only parallel as large as a meridian. (Circles with the same radius as the spherical earth are called great circles. The equator and all meridians are great circles.) Above and below the equator, the circles defining the parallels of latitude get gradually smaller until they become a single point at the North and South Poles where the meridians converge. As the meridians converge toward the poles, the distance represented by one degree of longitude decreases to zero. On the Clarke 1866 spheroid, one degree of longitude at the equator equals 111.321 kilometers, while at 60 latitude, it is only 55.802 kilometers. Since degrees of latitude and longitude don't have a standard length, you can't measure distances or areas accurately or display the data easily on a flat map or computer screen. Using many (but not all) GIS analysis and mapping applications often requires a more stable, planar coordinate framework, which is provided by projected coordinate systems. Alternatively, some of the algorithms used for spatial operators take into account the geometric behavior of spherical (geographic) coordinate systems.


Computer-aided design (CAD) drawing files are digital representations of man-made designs or real-world objects. They often serve as legal documents or proposed plans and are used primarily by the technical professions that include engineering, architecture, surveying, and construction disciplines CAD data is organized into a geodatabase-enforced schema comprising five generic feature classes: annotation, multipatch, point, polygon, and polyline. Alongside the generic feature classes, AutoCAD drawings (version 2007 or higher) may include subset feature classes that are uniquely named and contain entity-linked attributes. When you add a CAD feature class to ArcMap, ArcScene, or ArcGlobe, all standard map functions are enabled, including attribute tables and labeling functions. You can snap to geometry, substitute symbology, and use it with all geoprocessing tools that accept feature classes or layers as input.

Starting ArcMap
You can access ArcMap from the Start button on the Windows taskbar. Alternatively, you can double-click on an ArcMap document (.mxd file) to start ArcMap with the desired map.

Selecting the map on startup

When you start ArcMap from the Windows taskbar, ArcMap will display a Getting Started dialog box in which you can pick an existing map or choose to create a new map.

You can use this dialog box to open an existing map document or create a new one by clicking on New Maps. From within ArcMap, you can also create a new map by: Clicking the New Map File button on the main menu.

Clicking File > New or clicking CTRL+N.

Opening a map document

There are a number of ways to open a map in ArcMap. You can: Double-click on a map document to open it. Select it in the ArcMap Getting Started dialog box. Click the Open button on the Standard toolbar.

This topic describes each of these alternatives

Double-click to open a map document

1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the map document's location. 2. Double-click the document to open it.

Select a map in the ArcMap Getting Started dialog box

1. When you start ArcMap from the Windows Start menu, you'll see the ArcMap Getting Started dialog box.

2. Select an existing map or browse to it to open it in ArcMap.

Opening another map from an ArcMap session

If you are already working in ArcMap, you can choose to open another map document. This will close your existing map and open the new one in its place. There are three ways to change your map to another one: Click the Open button on the Standard toolbar (or use the shortcut CTRL+O).

Double-click on a map document in the Catalog window. Use the Search window to find a map and double-click to open it in ArcMap.

Be sure to save your work in your existing map as it will be closed when the new map is opened.

Adding layers to a map

Each layer references a dataset that is stored in a geodatabase, coverage, shapefile, raster, and so on. It's easy to add layers to a mapyou simply select a dataset and drag it from the Catalog or Search window onto your map or add a dataset using the Add Data button. Once each layer is added to your map, you'll typically set the symbology and labeling properties and organize the drawing order of the layers in your table of contents to make your map work well.

Adding map layers

There are a number of ways to add map layers. Each of them is covered here.

Adding a dataset
To create a new map layer, simply add a dataset to your map, globe, or 3D scene. There are a few ways to add datasets: Using the Add Data buttonClick the Add Data button desired dataset. Then select and add it to your map. and navigate to the

When you use the Add Data button in ArcMap for the first time in a new session, it automatically returns to the last location you added data from. By unchecking Return to last used location when Add Data dialog first used on the General tab of the ArcMap Options dialog box, the Add Data dialog box will instead default to the top level of the Catalog tree. This improves the performance of the Add Data command because you don't have to wait while it reconnects to the network drive, database location, or

GIS server that you accessed in your previous session. To open the ArcMap Options dialog box, click Customize > ArcMap Options. Copying or dragging a layerYou can move layers between data frames or maps by copying and pasting or dragging the layer from one data frame to another. Dragging a dataset from the Catalog windowYou can navigate to datasets and add them directly in ArcMap. Using the Catalog window, navigate to the desired dataset. Drag the dataset into the map's data frame.

Dragging a dataset from the Search windowYou can add data to your map from the Search window. Click Data, enter the search terms to find the desired dataset, then drag the dataset into the map's data frame.

Dragging a dataset from ArcCatalogYou can add data to your map from the ArcCatalog application. In ArcCatalog, navigate to the desired dataset. Then drag it onto the ArcMap data frame.

Adding multiple datasetsYou can select and add multiple datasets at one time by highlighting all of the desired datasets instead of a single one when adding.

Using symbols and styles

A key aspect of creating a beautiful map is the choice of symbols, colors, and map elements that you will use. Not everyone in the GIS community has the design skills necessary to choose elegant symbols and color schemes on their own or apply them effectively. This is one of the big challenges faced by many ArcGIS users. Fortunately, there are highly skilled cartographers in the ArcGIS community who compile libraries of symbols, colors, and other related map elements. They share these as ArcGIS styles. In ArcGIS, a style is a library of symbol collections, color schemes, rendering rules, and related map elements that help users build better maps. Each style adds these graphic libraries to ArcMap, ArcGlobe, and ArcScene which you can tap into as a rich source for mapping and visualization. One of the fundamental capabilities of ArcMap is the ability to share these styles, which can be referenced in ArcMap. This enables all users to create consistent, attractive maps that make an impact. This topic introduces some of the key symbol terms and provides guidance on where to learn more.


Symbols are used to portray points, lines, polygons, and text in maps. This is similar to the mechanisms used in Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. Here's a brief overview of symbol types used in maps and other GIS views (e.g., in 3D): Marker symbolsThese are point symbols used to portray points on maps and are often used in line patterns. For example:
Well symbols

Tree symbols

A weather front line symbol built using a series of markers arrayed along the line in patterns.

Line symbolsThese are used to draw line features and polygon boundaries as well as to render other map lines. For example:

Fill symbolsThese are used for filling polygons and other solid map elements. For example:

Text symbolsText symbols include font, size, color, and other properties. They are used for feature labels, annotation, and other map text. For example:

Learn more about working with symbols in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS supports the ability to produce a consistent set of cartography that adheres to an agreed upon standard by a workgroup, organization, or community. One of the ways that this is promoted is through the use of styles. A style is a collection of symbols, colors, map elements, and other graphical elements that enable a group of users to create and share consistent cartography. A style is a library of all of these elements that can be shared among a group of ArcGIS users.

There are many types of graphics elements that can be shared as part of a style. This example shows some of the colors that are part of the file. Notice all of the other categories of graphic elements. Styles hold symbols, graphics, and colors that are used in ArcGIS. Each time you search for and pick a symbol for your map layout and map layers in ArcGIS, you are selecting the symbol from a style library.

Saving a map
After you finish working on a map, you can save it and exit ArcMap. You save a map as a document and store it on your hard disk. If you haven't saved the map before, you'll need to provide a name and save it into a folder location. ArcMap automatically appends a file extension (.mxd) to your map document name. The data displayed on a map is not saved with it. Map layers reference the data sources in your GIS database. This helps keep map documents relatively small in size. You can also save the map with its data using a map package, which can be used to share your map and its related data with other users. See Creating a map package for more information.

Saving to previous versions of ArcGIS

Once you open and save an existing map document (.mxd file) using ArcGIS 10, the map can no longer be opened with earlier versions of ArcGIS because it will now reflect the new functionality added at 10. Similarly, new documents you create with 10 also cannot be opened in earlier versions of the software. However, you can use the Save A Copy command to make a copy of a map document so you can open and work with it in previous versions of ArcGIS. With ArcGIS 10, you can save to ArcGIS 9.3, 9.2, 9.0/9.1, or 8.3. ArcGIS 9.0 and 9.1 map documents are directly compatible with each other and those versions of the software. Each new version of ArcGIS introduces functionality and properties that aren't available in previous versions. When you save a map document, layer file, or 3D document to a previous version of ArcGIS, the format of the file is changed to eliminate properties not available in the older version. This means saving from 10 to a previous version removes from the file any functionality that depends on the newer software in ArcGIS 10. Therefore, some work may be lost if you save to 9.3, 9.2, 9.0/9.1, or 8.3 and start working with the older copy again in 10, since the 10 functionality was stripped out in the Save A Copy process. Your original ArcGIS 10 file will still have the new functionality. In addition, when you save a map document to a previous version of the software, only the .mxd file is saved; the data sources referenced in the .mxd file remain unchanged. See the following sections for more information about geodatabases, data sources, and saving to previous versions. You can also save layer files in ArcMap and ArcGlobe and ArcGlobe and ArcScene documents to previous versions of ArcGIS.

Geodatabases and saving map documents to previous versions

If your organization uses different versions of ArcGIS, you need to confirm the ArcGIS release with which your geodatabase is associated, as it can have an impact on whether or not ArcGIS will be able to access the data referenced in the map. Newer versions of ArcGIS can read older geodatabases, but older versions of ArcGIS cannot read newer geodatabases except in the following cases: ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 5 (SP5) and Service Pack 6 (SP6) can open and edit a 9.3 geodatabase. However, 9.2 SP5/SP6 will not be able to open, edit, or create datasets containing new functionality available with ArcGIS 9.3, such as creating a

terrain with a Window Size pyramid format or a network dataset with an attribute that uses the 9.3 global turn delay and network function evaluators. ArcGIS 9.1 and 9.0 geodatabases are directly compatible with each other.

For example, if your map contains data from an ArcGIS 10.0 personal, file, or ArcSDE geodatabase, you can save the .mxd file so it can be opened in ArcGIS 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, or 8.3, but those versions won't be able to display the 10.0 data. Similarly, data in any 10.0, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, or 9.0 geodatabase cannot be read in ArcGIS 8.3. Shapefiles, coverages, and file-based rasters don't present a problem in this regard. Existing geodatabases created using previous releases can be opened and used in 10 without being upgraded to 10. However, to take advantage of new functionality added at 10, existing geodatabases must be upgraded. However, if you upgrade a geodatabase, you can't restore it for use in its original version of ArcGIS. For this reason, you may want to make a copy of the geodatabase before you upgrade. If you have data in a geodatabase that you have created or upgraded in ArcGIS version 10 that you want to be able to work with in an older version of ArcGIS, you have two options. In version 10 you can create a new, empty file geodatabase that can be opened in an older version using the Create File GDB geoprocessing tool and then in version 10, copy and paste the data from your geodatabase into that new, empty file geodatabase. This will create a geodatabase that can be opened in the older version. However, note that some items supported in newer geodatabases can't be pasted into a geodatabase intended for an older version if that version doesn't support them. Alternatively, in version 10 add the data into a map as a layer and create a layer package. A layer package can be opened in version 10 and 9.3.1. If you have multiple layers you want to prepare for use in version 9.3.1 you can create a group layer and then package that layer, or create separate layer packages for each layer. Some general points to remember when working with geodatabases from different ArcGIS releases include: Geodatabase functionality that is new at ArcGIS 10 is only supported in 10 map documents and geodatabases. Geoprocessing toolboxes stored in upgraded geodatabases cannot be opened in previous releases. Similarly, once you make a change to a file-based toolbox (.tbx) in 10, it can no longer be accessed by the previous version. You can right-click a toolbox and click Save As > Save as 9.3, 9.2 or 9.0/9.1, but you will need to make manual edits to consider any functionality in the toolbox that is not available in those releases.

Parcel fabrics are only supported in ArcGIS 9.2 or newer geodatabases or map documents. Mosaic datasets are only supported in ArcGIS 10 or newer geodatabases or map documents. ArcGIS Network Analyst layers and network datasets are only supported in ArcGIS 9.1 or newer geodatabases or map documents. ArcGIS Schematics layers and schematic datasets are only supported in ArcGIS 9.0 or newer geodatabases and 9.1 or newer map documents. There are some limitations and guidelines with replication with geodatabases from different releases.

Saving from ArcGIS 10 to ArcGIS 9.3

ArcGIS 10 introduced some new functionality and properties that were not available in previous versions of ArcGIS. Here are some tips to keep in mind when saving to ArcGIS 9.3.

The map document's default geodatabase property will be removed when saving to 9.3 Customized layer field ordering will be removed when a layer is saved to 9.3. The time properties of a layer will be removed when a layer is saved to 9.3. The time properties of the data frame will be removed when a layer is saved to 9.3 Field properties noting fields as highlighted or read-only will be removed when a layer is saved to 9.3. Dynamic text elements will be converted to static text when saving to 9.3. Mosaic layers will be dropped when saving to 9.3. Feature templates will be dropped when saving to 9.3. Group layer transparency can be set at both the sublayer and top level group layer at ArcGIS 10. When saving to a previous version, the appearance of the map will be preserved in this situation, but the transparency values will change. Basemap layers will be converted to group layers when saved to 9.3. Accelerated raster layers will be converted to raster layers when saved to 9.3.

Data driven pages did not exist in ArcGIS 9.3 and will be dropped from the map document. The ability to automatically derive the extent of one data frame from another will be removed when saving to 9.3. Extent indicators will be rectangle indicators when saved to 9.3. Data frame clipping options for clipping specific layers will be removed when saving to 9.3. Layer symbology options for 3D rotation and field driven sizing will be removed from the layer. Image format properties of dynamic service layers will be removed from service layers when saved to 9.3.

Saving from ArcGIS 10 to ArcGIS 9.2

Functionality or properties that are not supported when saving from ArcGIS 10 to 9.3 are also not supported in ArcGIS 9.2. In addition, here are some other notes specific to saving to ArcGIS 9.2:

In 10, when layers in a data frame are made transparent, the table of contents and the legends in layout view automatically use lighter colors to reflect transparency. This simulated transparency is removed when you save to 9.2. Dimension layers in 10 support a label weight ranking so dimension features can be considered barriers to the labeling process. This property is removed when you save to 9.2. All layer types that support HTML pop-ups will have their HTML pop-up properties removed. Fields with a saved sort order will have that order removed. JPEG 2000 picture elements will be removed. WCS layers will be removed from your data frame when you save to 9.2. The style name of a WMS layer will be removed from the layer. Field-based hyperlinks containing parameters will not work in releases prior to 9.3. If you save a 10 .mxd file to 9.2, parameters will automatically be removed from dynamic hyperlinks, but the links to the document will still work.

NITF graphics layers will be removed from your data frame. Raster layers using the Discrete Color renderer, will revert to a default renderer when you save to 9.2. The separator property of scale text will be removed from scale text graphics when you save to 9.2. Representation rules that are marked as hidden for legend display in 10 will be visible when you save to 9.2. Network layers and network analysis layers referencing network datasets containing evaluators (global turn delay evaluators and function evaluators) will be saved in the 9.2 document but will be disconnected from their network dataset when opened in ArcGIS 9.2. Published map files (.pmf) created with ArcGIS Publisher in 10 can't be opened in ArcReader 9.2 or earlier versions. If you need to create a .pmf file that can be opened by a previous version of ArcReader, you can save the .mxd file to a previous version and publish it on a machine with an older version of ArcGIS. Another option is for the recipient of the .pmf file to download and install ArcReader 10 for free.

Several software features are not available in ArcGIS 9.2 including Script tool properties for custom tool validation Model properties for storing symbology Enhancements to several data types that affect models

Stars and atmospheric halos in ArcGlobe are dropped when saving to 9.2. When consumed in 9.2, the cache for 10 layers with full caching will be regenerated on demand. Some KML elements, such as screen overlays, COLLADA models, and so on, are dropped from Google Earth KML/KMZ files. With ArcGlobe, you can save a layer only to releases that will support it. For example, terrain layers are supported starting with 9.2. So when you save a terrain layer, you can save it as 9.3 or 9.2 (or the regular 10); you will not be able to save it as 9.0/9.1 because terrain layers were not supported in those

releases. In addition, if there are any layers in your group layers that the version of ArcGIS you chose won't be able to draw, a dialog box will appear listing them. You can then decide whether to continue with saving the copy in the format of that previous version. If you have other ESRI or third-party extensions, you should check with the manufacturer to determine their compatibility with previous versions of ArcGIS.

Saving from ArcGIS 10 to ArcGIS 9.0/9.1

Functionality or properties that are not supported when saving from ArcGIS 10 to 9.3 or 9.2 are also not supported in ArcGIS 9.0/9.1. In addition, here are some other notes specific to saving to ArcGIS 9.0/9.1: Layers based on data from any ArcGIS 9.2, 9.3 or 10 geodatabase are not supported. In addition, any new data source or layer type, such as tables based on Microsoft Excel data, are not supported. Symbols and properties new to ArcGIS 9.2, 9.3 or 10 aren't available in ArcGIS 9.1. These include new document properties, new rendering and display options, custom full extents, and so on. Graphs created in ArcGIS 9.2, 9.3 or 10 are not supported and will be removed. However, if you use the graphing tools from the ArcGIS 9.3 Customize dialog box, the graphs will work in ArcGIS 9.1. Animations in .mxd files are dropped when saving to 9.1. However, you can save animations in .sxd or .3dd files back to 9.1 as long as the animations do not have time tracks. New 3D properties, layers, and functionality, such as Google Earth KML/KMZ files, graphics layers, annotation, and text, are not supported. The Goode Homolosine projection, which was new at 9.2, is unknown to 9.1.

Saving from ArcGIS 10 to ArcGIS 8.3

Functionality or properties that are not supported when saving from ArcGIS 10 to 9.3, 9.2 or 9.0/9.1 are also not supported in ArcGIS 8.3. In addition, here are some other notes specific to saving to ArcGIS 8.3: If you have updated geodatabase annotation feature classes from ArcGIS 8.3 to ArcGIS 9.0 or higher, you will be unable to open the geodatabase in ArcGIS 8.3 because you are required to upgrade the geodatabase first.

Symbols and properties new to ArcGIS 9.0 or higher aren't available in ArcGIS 8.3. For example, 3D text elements aren't supported, and 3D symbols will be converted to 2D symbols.

Paragraph text elements aren't supported in ArcGIS 8.3 and will be dropped. Symbol level drawing is a property of a data frame at ArcGIS 8.3, but is a property of the layers for which it is defined at ArcGIS 9.0 or higher. When saved to ArcGIS 8.3, the supported aspects of the layer's symbol level drawing are retained and added to the data frame's Advanced Drawing Options dialog box. Data frame masking properties aren't supported, and no masking will occur. If ArcGIS 8.3 can read your masking layers, they'll appear in your map but will be drawn just like other layers.

Data frames labeled with the ESRI Maplex Labeling Engine in ArcGIS 9.0 or higher will be labeled with the ESRI Standard Labeling Engine. ArcGIS Map Server and WMS layers aren't supported in 8.3. Projections new at ArcGIS 9.0 or higher are unknown to ArcGIS 8.3. These are: Goode Homolosine projection, Fuller projection, Rectified Skewed Orthomorphic (RSO) projection, Cube map projection, Transverse Mercator Complex projection, Robinson projection (ArcInfo)the same version of Robinson supported in ArcInfo Workstation, Local Cartesian projection.

Some page and printer setup options aren't retained. Stereo views in ArcScene aren't supported. ArcGIS Tracking Analyst properties aren't supported.

How to save a map to a previous version of ArcGIS

1. Click File > Save A Copy. 2. Navigate to the location where you want to save the map document. 3. Type a file name.
4. Click the Save as type drop-down arrow and click ArcMap 9.3 Document,

ArcMap 9.2 Document, ArcMap 9.0/9.1 Document, or ArcMap 8.3 Document, depending on which version you want to save.

Open Arc Catalog

Start > all programs > ArcGis > Arc Catalog Navigate to the folder right click on the DWG file and export to shapefile

Select the Output Folder:

Add the Shapefiles into ARC GIS Right click on ARC map window select Spatial Adjustment Tool:

Start Editing

Use displacement links to geo-reference the data.

Assigning Projection System:

Click on Arc tool box window in Arc map

Then click: Data management Tools > Projection and Transformation > Raster > Define Projections

Input shapefile which need to be projected:

Select Coordinate System > Geographic Coordinate Systems > World > WGS 1984.prj

Press ok and wait for the file to be projected