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arcgis - ArcGIS Tips January 2007 Methodological Always ask...

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1 ArcGIS Tips – January 2007 Methodological § Always ask, is the data/graphic presentation valid on substantive grounds? Is it biased in some way or another? If so, why? § Think critically about the substantive validity of data attributes (e.g., race- ethnic categories) and spatial units (e.g., census districts) in maps. § Remember that GIS is just one approach to representing space, place, and society, with its particular set of strengths and limitations. § Always check a data set for possible errors (e.g., sum categories for race/ethnicity, gender, and housing tenure to make sure that they add up to the appropriate totals). Check errata (e.g., U.S. Census errata) when they are available. ArcCatalog § Don’t put spaces or special symbols in filenames. § Don’t use uppercase letters or spaces in directories or filenames for raster data. § What if the catalog tree disappears? Window>Catalog Tree. § In ArcCatalog, why can’t I delete a feature class from a geodatabase? You can’t do so while any part of the geodatabase is in use in ArcMap, and you may have to close ArcMap. § In ArcCatalog, how to obtain the Data Conversion Wizards ? Click View > Toolbar>Customize , then click ArcGIS 8x Tools on the Toolbar tab and click Close . § Geodatabases : o When importing coverages , import only the polygon feature class of the coverage (i.e. point) because a geodatabase does not maintain the other coverage feature classes. § Better alternative: in ArcCatalog right-click the coverage, convert to layer file, and then import the layer file (instead of the coverage) into the geodatabase. § Or in ArcMap: right-click the coverage > Export Data > click ‘Use the same coordinate system as this layer’s source data’ > specify ‘Output shapefile or feature class’ > OK > Yes, display as a layer on the map. o When importing feature classes, to exclude feature attributes go to the dialog box’s Field Info, the Visible field, and click ‘false’ for each excluded attribute. o Recall that to delete part of a geodatabase you have to remove it from ArcMap and possibly close ArcMap. § When using a geodatabase, close ArcCatalog in order to do spatial joins and perhaps other procedures in ArcMap. § How to define a coordinate system for a coverage? Here are two ways: o One way: ArcToolBox>Data Management Tools>Projections and Transformations>Define Projection>drag the coverage into the input box>select the projection. o Another way: import the coverage into a geodatabase and specify its projection. o Better than either of the above: export the coverage and save as a shapefile, then define its coordinate system.
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2 § What if I repeatedly cannot delete a file and I keep getting an ‘in use by another application’ message even when the file is no longer in use? Exit Arc Map, and perhaps exit ArcCatalog as well and restart it.
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