ArcGIS is used in the Inquiries text to examine global and regional patterns using a large geographic information dataset. Students explore the state of the world using a global dataset, which includes information on the social and political climate that populations experience, as well as the environmental and geologic factors that shape their country. Students will examine patterns such as the level of civil liberties countries posses, to rates of urbanization, to the distribution of geologic hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
This exercise is intended to acquaint you with the basic features of ArcGIS, using data on population growth and various environmental indicators. ArcGIS is the most commonly used software for working with geographic data sets. That dataset that you will be working with was compiled from data from the World Resources Institute, United States Geological Survey, United Nations Population and Urbanization Data, the World Wildlife Federation and the CIA World Factbook.
We want you to be mindful not only of the power of map tools, but the powerful ways in which data can be misrepresented or used to mislead. As you create and analyze your maps, always be critical of both the data you are using and the ways in which you are using it. This should be most apparent to you as you create legends, which you will learn about in this exercise.
While we will primarily use ArcGIS to examine global and regional patterns, you may want to focus on a specific developing country that is of interest to you.
In this exercise you will examine the relationship between population growth and the country’s female literacy rate. Before you begin, it will be helpful to hypothesize what you think the relationship between the two will be.
Before proceeding further, save your project. Under File, choose Save As…. Make sure the appropriate drive is selected in the bottom right pull-down menu before you click OK. Name the file something that will help you remember what it is in the future (intro_ArcGIS, etc). Save each lab as a different name to ensure that your original ArcGIS dataset is not altered for subsequent labs. Also, it is a fact of life that computers crash so, save intermittently as you are working!
Below is an image indicating where a Theme/Layer is in your ArcMap window (in ArcMap 10 this is now called the Table of Contents but fuctions in the same way).
Click on the check box next to population demographics to see a world map. It should look like Figure 1 (your colors may vary from those shown below, they are assigned randomly at first).
ArcGIS interface with map of global population
Next, open the attribute table for population demographics by right-clicking on the layer name from the layer menu and selecting open attribute table. The attribute table associated with a given layer stores all of the raw data used to create and normalize the maps we make and manipulate. By scrolling through the table you can see all of the categories of data that are available and all of the countries that the map represents. Cells that have <Null> are categories where data is unavailable. Close the attribute table when you are finished examining the data.
Now we want to customize the map. Copy the population demographics layer by right-clicking on it. Go to Edit --> Paste. Paste two copies of the population demographics layer at the top of the layer column. Unclick your original population demographics layer. By making copies of layers, we can always go back to the original layer if a mistake is made.
Of your two new layers at the top of the layer column, double-click on the bottom population demographics layer. The Layer Properties window should now appear (Figure 2).
We want to start by creating a map, which compares the countries by the percentage of women who are literate. First click on the General tab of the Layer Properties window and rename your layer Female Literacy Rate. Click Apply. Then click on the Symbology tab. To illustrate the percentage of females who are literate, on the left side of the Layer Properties window, under Quantities, choose Graduated Color. Then choose Female Adult Literacy Rate (percent of adult females that are literate in 2002) as the fields value.
Set your Classification to five classes. Then press the Classify button a window should appear that looks like Figure 3. In the future this is where you will change category sizes by altering the Classification Method or the Break Values in the box to the right of the histogram, for now simply click OK to return to the Layer Properties dialog box.
Note that it is possible to change the colors by altering the Color Ramp. Alternatively, you can right-click on each of the symbols. Then select Properties for Selected Symbol(s). Next, choose the fill color of your choice and select OK. When you are satisfied with the colors in your classification field, click on OK. Note that in this dataset, the Country layer shows the outline of each country and those countries that are colored white are in the no data class (null data); i.e. there is no data for that country. Close the Layer Properties Window by clicking OK.
Female Literacy Rate fields
You should now see a map of the countries of the world where each country is coded by the percent of adult women in each country that are literate (be sure that the top population demographics layer is un-checked to see Female Literacy Rate. Your map should look like Figure 5.
Global map of literate adult females
For the second population demographics layer, we are interested in looking at the population change over time. Double-click on this layer and in the layer properties, general tab, change the name of this layer to Population Change 2000-2005 and press Apply. Then under the Symbology tab, classify a graduated color legend with 2000-2005 Total Average Annual Population Change as the value field. Make sure that you have selected three Natural Break (jenks) classes, then press the classify button. Natural Breaks asks ArcMap to find gaps in the data values and clump the data according to its naturally occurring groups of values.
Next, type in 0 as the top value in the Break Values box
next to the histogram. Your Break Values should be 0, 1.9 and 4.9. Click OK.
Now manually change the graduated color legend to a patterned legend by editing each individual symbol. Right-click on each Symbol, then select Properties for Selected Symbol(s)... scroll down to the stippling. Set the 0.1 - 1.9 change to 10% Simple Hatch, and the 2.0 - 4.9 category 10% to Crosshatch as in Figure 6. Choose 10% Ordered Stipple for negative population change, make sure that the background for Ordered Stipple is transparent by clicking on the Edit Symbol... button then choosing No Color for the Background Colol. Press OK to return to the symbol Selector box, OK again to return to Layer Properties, and OK one more time to save apply your changes and return to the Map Window.
Population change layer
Make sure the Population Change 2000-2005 layer appears above the women’s literacy layer in the view window. If it doesn't, click and drag the legend for Population Change 2000-2005 up to the top. Click on the "+" to the left of Population Change 2000-2005 and Female Literacy Rate to display the legends for these layers. Examine the resulting map overlay.
What is the apparent relationship between population change and female literacy rate? Explain how this relationship works. Incorporate Figure 7 to help answer this question.
Women's Education and Family Size in Selected Countries, 1990s
Another way to explore this relationship is by looking at the fertility rate or the number of births per woman in her lifetime with female literacy rate. Copy the layer Female Literacy Rate (Right-click --> Copy) and paste it at the top of the column of layers (Edit --> Paste). Rename your layer Fertility 2005 by altering the layer name under general tab in layer properties. Under the Symbology tab, change the value field to Total Fertility Rate 2000-05. Next, right-click on the symbols and select Flip Symbols. Click OK. Your map should now look like Figure 8.
Map of global female fertility in 2005
Since Africa stands out in this map, as well as for rates
of female literacy, explore
Within the layer properties of your two new layers, limit
the coverage to
Query Builder window
You can avoid typing this in (and associated typos) by double-clicking the
Continent field in the Fields window (it should appear in the formula box
below), then clicking the equal sign, and then double clicking on your
continent of choice in the Values window. All parts of the map except for
Map of query for
When you have completed queries for both African Female Literacy and African Fertility 2005, click back and forth between the two maps to examine whether there is a relationship between female literacy and fertility.
Another option to examine data is to create a second data frame so you can examine two maps concurrently.
First, click on the layout view
icon () in the
lower left of the display area to switch from the data view to the layout
view. Alternatively, go to view on the
menu bar and select Layout view. Also on the menu bar, choose Insert and select
New Data Frame. Double-click on the new data frame and rename it
The new data frame should appear with a set size in the middle of the layout page. It should be highlighted with blue handles, indicting that it is the active frame. The active frame is also shown in boldface type in the layer column or table of contents. Resize both frames so they are the same size and do not overlap on the page. Use the Zoom tool to enlarge the African Continent inside the layout frame box without cropping any of the continent edges. To zoom in on a map click on the zoom magnifying glass, then draw a box around the continent you want to zoom in on.
Next, click on the African
Fertility 2005 layer on the layer column and drag it down into the Africa data frame (this is the line
To do this, right-click on the
In your final maps you must include an informative title, a legend, your name and date, a scale bar, and a north arrow, and data source citation (Important: All of these features should be included in every map you make in this class). Select View --> Zoom layout to increase the size of your maps. You can add relevant features to the map by selecting Insert --> Title, Legend etc from the menu bar. Note that you can only insert a legend for the selected data frame. To select either data frame, right click on its title in the Table of Contents and click Activate. See figure 11 for an example comparing two data views.
Comparing data frames
Saving maps as Jpeg (.jpg) files: Before inserting your maps into a word document, it is best to export them as jpeg (.jpg) files.
Directions to do this:
Question 1 (find above)
Now choose one country in
Is there a general relationship between African female literacy rate and total fertility rate? Name the African country that you selected to examine. What are the rates of female fertility and literacy for that country?
Go to the CIA World Factbook (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/)
and look up more information about the African country you selected. Use this
information to determine some of the reasons behind the country’s fertility and
literacy rates. Write a paragraph about the country you selected examining
A word document (named Lab2_uniquename.doc) including:
- Your answers to the 3 questions in 3-5 sentences each
- A jpg image of your map of African fertility and literacy rates.
Summary of ArcGIS
In this exercise we have developed skills to create and navigate views, create and edit legends, choose data classification types and create data queries. This information will be important for other ArcGIS exercises.