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Brigham Young University Idaho

ArcGIS Portfolio
How-Tos and Other Projects

No H. Morales

Portfolio How-Tos

What it does?
When to use it?


Naming files and

folders for use in

This is important to do
to keep all files
organized and easy to
be found.

Follow these guidelines when naming files

13 characters

No Special Characters

Do not start with a number

No spaces

Make it easy to identify

1. In ArcCatalog: Make a copy of the original data and put in a folder called original.
2. In ArcCatalog: Create a File geodatabase and add the data to it. Create a new file geodatabase for each new project.
3. Open ArcMap. Select New Maps, then select Blank Map. DO NOT CLICK OK!!!
4. Designate the Default geodatabase for this map as the geodatabase just created. Click OK
5. In ArcMap, click File Map Document Properties, and select Store relative pathnames to data sources. Check default
geodatabase and change if needed.
6. Click OK. Add data to the map. Save frequently!
- Click on the icon in the bottom left corner of your computer screen.
- Select 'Computer'
- Select 'Map network drive' from the bar at the top of the window.
- In the window that opens,
* type the following in the Folder:\\ArcGis\Studata
* Click 'Finish.'
The drive is now mapped and will show up when you click on "Computer."
- Open the Search window and type in a keyword
- Be sure to click on the Show Help button at the bottom of the tool window
- Click Help on the title bar of ArcHelp or ArcCatalog
- Click Search and type in a keyword
- Or just browse through the contents to see what you can learn
- Kml files dont show up in ArcCatalog
- Kml files are abundant on the Internet and can be a good source of data
- Search for kml in the search window and follow the instructions.
- Your hillshade can be modified by changing the z factor. A factor of 1 is the most common, but you can change it to fit your
- The hillshade usually goes underneath the actual DEM. Make sure that you make your DEM transparent.

Start a new map in


Map to the ArcGIS

network drive

Search for a tool

Use ArcGIS DeskTop
Convert kml to a
feature class and
feature class to kml
Create a hillshade of
a raster surface

Prep a table for use

in ArcGis

Locates and opens GIS

tools in ArcToolBox
Learn ArcGIS theory and
When I find great data
thats formatted for
Google Earth

Hillshade displays a
shaded relief to show
elevations by the use of
This is needed when
you need to join a table
of attributes that you
already have.

- Use the same rules for naming files.

- Make sure that they match and that at least one column matches the one that you will be joining it to, you will use that when
you use the joining function.
- Make sure that all the numeric values are changed to Numbers and that there are no subheading in your excel table.

Create a feature
class from raw
point data (GPS) in
an excel file

This is useful when you

have points that you
need to add to your
This is useful when you
want to add more
attributes to an existing

- When preparing the excel table, make sure that the x and y are labeled correctly and that you have the signs correct so it
matches with the target coordinate system.

- Using ArcCatalog, after creating your geodatabase, right-click on the excel sheet and select create from XY table this will create
a point feature that you can then add it to your map.

- Once the table is created.

Clip feature classes

and rasters

Dissolve or merge

Add an index map

(extent indicators)

Add a legend

Use annotation
Classify vector and
raster data
When to use the
geoprocessing tools
(union, intersect,
merge, buffer,
Select features
using the selection
Select features in
the attribute table
Select by attribute
Select by location
Assign Coordinate
system to data that
does not have a
coordinate system
Reproject data from
one coordinate
system to another
Use surface raster
tools: slope,
contour, aspect,

It creates a reference
map. You can use it
when your location is
not easily recognized,
or when its more
local than global.
You add a legend to
help others
understand what
each symbol mean.
Use it always,
especially when
there are a lot of
symbols or colors.

- You select the data frame that will be the

- You should use good colors that are not too bright and be easy to follow. Try not to repeat symbols and place the legend close to
the respective map. Also, do not show the word Legend, instead replace it with that group of symbols that are on the map.

viewshed, curvature
Create a
topographic profile
Visualize a surface

Mid Term How-To Check

Create a customized
Mosaic Raster data
Reclassify Raster
Use ArcScene (base
Georeference raster
Create a new
feature class
Use editing tools to
create features
Create a feature
data set
Create a geologic
Add and correctly
symbolize strike and
dip data
Add and correctly
symbolize geologic
contacts of all types
Add and correctly
symbolize faults
Suitability Study
Contour Point Data
Add a graticule to a
Data sources

Note: Add tools and skills to the table as we discuss them in class. When I grade your portfolios, I will expect to see the hints that I give you in class included in
your How Tos. In class I will preface these hints with This is a Hint or I spent hours and hours figuring out how to do this and now you will benefit from my