GIS midterm

GIS Skills Demonstration : Question Universe

Application Practical.  We will make use of layers taken from the BasicOaklandGIS CD distributed earlier in the semester.


  1. Start ArcGIS.  Open the existing map (MXD file), "Oakland_tracts_2000."  Demonstrate that you are able to zoom, pan, and view previous extent. Zoom into the Mills census tract and set a visual bookmark called "Mills" and then zoom back out and use the book mark to return to the Mills tract.
  2. Add an existing feature class, Main_Freeways, to the map.  Show how to move layers up and down, turn layers on and off.
  3. Change display characteristics of the freeway layer from the table of contents so that it is "fat red highway" style of line.
  4. Change the color and border of the census tracts layer via properties dialog.  Make the fill "Tan" and the outline "Cordovan Brown." Change the background of the data frame to 10% grey.
  5. Show two ways to rename the freeways layer "Bay Area Freeways"
  6. Display the data associated with the census tract layer.  Since most of the first columns don't really interest us, hide them from view so that the first column we see is POP2000.
  7. Save the red highway layer as an LYR file called RED_Freeways.lyr in the folder GIS-midterm.  Remove the freeway layer and add the layer file just saved.  Save the entire map as "yourname-midterm" (as an MXD file) in the GIS-midterm folder.


  1. Remove the various layers from your map.  Open ArcCatalog, connect to the BasicOaklandGIS geodatabase which is on the desktop.
  2. Explain what a geo-database is.
  3. Position ArcCatalog window and ArcMap window so you can move data from one to the other.  Drag the Oakland_tracts_2000 feature class to ArcMap.
  4. Add the saved layer "Red_Freeways" to the map.

Thematic Mapping

  1. Open new map file yourname-midterm.mxd.  Add the OAK_nhoods_1981 layer to your map from ArcCatalog. 
  2. Symbolize the layer by categorical attributes based on neighborhood name.  You may have to look at the attribute file to see what field this is in.  All the neighborhoods should have a different color.
  3. Label the neighborhoods layer with the name of each neighborhood using a  Lucida Sans font.
  4. Save neighborhoods layer as LYR called "nhood_indiv_color."  Remove the nhood layer.
  5. Make a “shade by value” (classification by quantity) thematic map showing the white population of each census tract and using the color ramp called "surface" (you'll need to turn graphics off in the color ramp dialog).
  6. What are two things wrong with using color like this to represent total population?
  7. Change the color scheme to one that is gradations of a single color.  Point out a few census tracts where this map could visually misleading and explain.
  8. Open the attribute table and sort descending on Asian population.  Select top few records one by one to see where they are in the map.  Select the top 5 and change the display options so you only see these five records of the table.
  9. Back in the map, unselect the selected tracts.
  10. Normalize the thematic map data by total population.
  11. Format the category labels so that they show percentages and only one decimal place.
  12. Rename the dataframe (now called "layers") "Natural Break."  Then create three new dataframes, "Equal Interval," "Std Dev" and "Quartile."  Copy the census track layer and paste three new copies and then drag one into each of the new dataframes.  Do the same for the freeways.
  13. Change the classification method for classify by quantity in each data frame to match it's name.  Note that for quartile you'll have to change the number of categories. 
  14. Go to the layout view and arrange so we can see each of the four data views.  Explain what we see in each and why.
  15. Return to dataview.  Make a classification by quantity dot density map showing total population in each census tract on one of our maps. Adjust settings so that most densely populated tract is about 50% covered by very small dark colored dots.
  16. Make a pie chart map showing white,black,asian,pacific islander,amerindian, other.  Adjust so pies fit on map in  a pleasing manner. Take away their kitschy 3D look.


  1. In dataview, select the census tracts around the Mills campus with mouse.  Locate corresponding records in attribute table.  Make attribute table show only selected features
  2. Show how to change selection options so that all features that intersect a selection rectangle are selected or only those totally enclosed by selection box.
  3. Create a selection that includes all census tracts that had a higher percentage of Asians than Whites in 2000.
  4. Create a layer from this selection and add it to the map.  Change the display characteristics of these tracts -- color them, say, pink.
  5. Create pie charts for this layer.  Turn off the charts in the other layer so that we see pie charts just for this selected set of tracts (but we can still see all the tracts.


  1. Return to layout window and delete all but one of your dataframes.  Expand the remaining one to fill the page.
  2. Insert a north arrow, scalebar, and legend and pretty them up.
  3. Save the result as a pdf file.