geography lab


Geography 256/556

Instructions and answer sheet for Exercise 1 (Graded, 10 points)

LAB Exercise 1. Introduction to the Lab, Map Elements and Visualizing Map Feature Layers

Purpose: To introduce the requirements and expectations for doing lab exercises and to also introduce several basic map elements.

First, there will be a brief discussion about how we will work in the lab.

1. Stick to your registered lab period. If on occasion you need to switch, please notify the lab instructor.

2. Please sign in at the instructor’s desk.

3. There is no food and drink allowed in the lab. It is also a good idea to wash your hands before and after the lab. You would not believe what can be grown from a swab taken from a computer keyboard!

4. By the first or second week of the course you will have your own geography department assigned user id that you can use to access lab resources. You will have your own folder where you can keep your completed and ongoing lab work. Your drive space is on the “z” drive, once you have your own user id.

5. You will be shown how to log on the first week of labs.

6. Data for the labs will found in Blackboard for each lab assignment. For the labs, you will need to copy folders from Blackboard to your personal z drive .

7. The best way to learn is to teach, if you know how to do something and your neighbor is struggling, please try to help them. Make new friends!

Answer lab questions found at the end of each part or section of the lab instructions. Write your answers (in blue, green, or red font color—or boldface). Submit your answers along with other materials as required, via Blackboard.



Two PDF maps are provided in a folder in Blackboard:


WA_Steamboat Mountain_244007_1998_24000_geo.pdf

For later reference: If you have Adobe Reader installed and you are feeling adventurous, you can download the TerraGo Toolbar. The TerraGo toolbar can be used to obtain information about PDF topographic maps produced by the USGS United States Geological Survey). This tool requires that you already have Adobe Reader installed. The toolbar enables the user to extract geographic information from the PDF map. We will use this tool in future course labs.

Cartography, or map-making, is the practice of making representations of the earth, usually on a flat surface. Types of maps vary widely, from representations of physical features such as road maps, land-use or topography to representations such as population density, political affiliation or income, to specialized maps such as temperature gradients or transport connections. Each of these maps will contain similar elements, depending on the purpose and content. Maps may be drawn to a scale or not, they may be oriented in several ways and they may use a variety of projections to display information on a flat plane. In Part I we will be looking at USGS topographic maps. Issues with maps include scale representations, distortions, accuracy, and detail. Every cartographer must decide what information they want to show (and what information they don’t want to show), how to symbolize it and the intended size and use of the map.

The map elements we will be looking at in Part I are as follows

1. Title of the map (What, where, and when—usually)

2. Scale: map to ground relationship

3. Projection and reference datum: Features on a 3-D object such as the earth are transferred to a 2-D surface. A certain amount of distortion will result. There are two datum references: horizontal and vertical. These will vary from country to country.

4. Legend or key: a graphical explanation of the symbols used to represent features on the map.

5. Map publisher and publication date, notes (metadata), data sources, edition, etc.

For now, it is okay if you don’t understand what these elements are or why they’re important. The purpose of this exercise is to introduce a few basic items that will become familiar as the course proceeds throughout the semester. Every time you make a map in this course you should consider these elements in your design as well as ensure you include the expected elements listed below.

Expectations when you are making maps in this class.

Submitted maps must contain the minimum of your name, the date and a title. Depending on the map it may also include a reference point/arrow, a legend and a scale (if applicable). Maps without these elements (if required) may be marked down.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++PART I QUESTIONS and ANSWERS++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Write your answers here (in a different color and/or bold):

1. (4 points) In the folder “PDF Maps” select just one of the maps and answer the following questions (A-H, ½ point each)

A. What is the title of the map?

B. Who made (published) the map?

C. What are the sources of data/information? Any updates or subsequent editions?

D. What is the scale?

E. When was the map made?

F. What projection was used?

G. What are the two reference datums?

H. What symbology is described in the map legend? How are the symbols differentiated?

2. (2 points) Exploring Chicago’s changing built environment. In the folder “KMZ Maps” select the IL_Chicago map. Double-click and it should open in Google Earth automatically. Answer the following questions. The 1901 Chicago map should drape or layer over a recent Google Earth image of the same area. You will notice that the map and image are presented at an “oblique” perspective. This can be changed by going to View | Reset | Tilt in the GE toolbar menu. Next, you can make the 1901 Chicago map transparent by going to the table of contents (TOC) on the left-hand side of GE by right-clicking on the “Map” (layer icon) in the temporary folder directory and selecting properties. You will notice in the “Edit image overlay” window a transparency slider bar. Use this tool to change the level of transparency in the 1901 Chicago map. Answer the following questions. (A-D, ½ point each)

A. (1/2 point) With nearly complete transparency of the 1901 Chicago map, what do you notice when you compared the road networks between the two maps? What might account for what you observe (hint: see questions 1F and 1G)?

B. (1 1/2 points) Find three differences in built environment-features between the two maps. The Chicago waterfront is a good place to start. List your answers below.


Write your answers here (in a different color and/or bold):

Points, lines, and polygons (areas) as geometric object types can be used to represent real world features and geographic data. Maps are composed of one or more feature layers. These layers can be superimposed onto each producing a reference map, thematic map, navigational map (chart), or a persuasion/propaganda map. In PART II you will study the geographic distribution of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (aka CAFOs) in Duplin County, North Carolina while becoming comfortable with some basic GIS terms and concepts.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++PART II QUESTIONS and ANSWERS++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1. (1 point) Human environment interaction in eastern North Carolina. Open the folder GE Features and Layers (Lab 1 folder in Blackboard). Double-click on the file labeled “step1_DUPL_sub-basins12.kmz. By this action you should be opening up Google Earth automatically. (the kmz extension means that this is a keyhole markup language file that has been zipped.) Right-Click on the feature layer (in the places section in the TOC window on the left) and select Properties and then select the Style, Color tab. Select the colors for the boundary and fill that you prefer and move the opacity slider for areas to 30% and then click on OK. (A-B, ½ point each)

A. (1/2 point) What feature is being represented in this layer?

B. (1/2 point) Which data model and geometric object type is being used to represent the feature?

2. (1 point) Next, in Google Earth’s menu bar go to File | Open and select step2_ DUPL_flowlines12.kmz. Click on any of the features in this layer. These are the feature attribute data and are linked to the geometric objects in the layer. (A-B, ½ point each)

A. (1/2 point) What feature is being represented in this layer?

B. (1/2 point) Which data model and geometric object type is being used to represent the feature?

3. (2 points) In the same manner open the files labeled step3_DUPL_swine-lagoons.kmz and step4_DUPL_animal operations.kmz. (A-D, ½ point each)

A. (1/2 point) Click on several different animal operations (step 4) and then list two different types of CAFOs from the attribute balloons that pop up (look for the field labelled REG_ACTIVI [regulated activity]).

B. (1/2 point) How well does each of the feature layers correspond spatially to the features they are supposed to represent in the Google Earth image? Speculate, briefly as to why there may be differences.

C. (1/2 point) Finally, enter street view by pulling down the little man in the upper right-hand corner and moving him to any road feature that highlights in blue and look around at the landscape. Eastern North Carolina has a long history of hurricanes. (See the accompanying Washington Post article (pdf) on Hurricane Matthew titled “Flooded North Carolina Farms”.) What is the risk to Duplin County’s environment and public health should a major hurricane hit this county?

D. (1/2 point) Using screenshot or the snip tool, insert an image of your completed Duplin County CAFO map and be sure to include a brief caption describing what your map image shows.

Note: Google Earth is not technically a GIS, but it does allow you to visualize feature layers and conduct very simple analyses. Many GIS programs enable you to export their products (or output) into KML (KMZ) files that can be used with Google Earth.

Upload your answers and creations for this lab in Blackboard. In the interest of simplicity, you may cut and paste the answers to PART I and PART II into one document. At this time, you may want to make the first entry into your portfolio, which is due at the end of the semester.