Anatomy of a mapping project


Anatomy of a property mapping project

You receive a request from a client who is planning for upcoming harvests.  They need the following:

  • Total stand acreage
  • Acreage of each land cover type
  • The UTM zone 17N X & Y coordinates of the three proposed logging deck sites
  • Maps showing the most recent aerial and topo

Where do you start?

  • Determine exactly what you need
  • Locate the property (street address, Google Earth, GPS, road map, survey, etc)
  • Plan/organize working directory
    • Locate existing GIS data (local image and GIS layer archive, previous mapping projects)
    • Compile other spatial data – imagery from NRCS, QPublic, state GIS clearinghouses
    • Prepare project file geodatabase
      • Import existing GIS data
      • Extract imagery to FGDB
      • Create new boundary and new covertype polygon feature classes and logging_deck point feature class (possibly others like interior_roadgate_entrancesstream_crossings, etc)
        • Go ahead and add a gisacres (float) and gistype (text) field to boundary and covertype layer
        • Add UTMx (float) and UTMy (float) fields to logging_deck layer
  • Create data
    • Digitize property boundary into the boundary layer
    • Digitize cover types
      • Copy property boundary feature (select boundary feature then right-click on boundary feature >> copy) and paste it into the covertype layer (right-click >> paste – make sure you paste into the covertype layer)
      • Delineate the various cover types into the covertype layer – use the cut tool
      • Attribute each polygon you cut as you go
    • Digitize logging deck locations
      • Populate UTMx and UTMy fields (right-click >> calculate geometry >> …)
  • Generate covertype/acreage summaries
    • From attribute table, right-click on type field >> Summarize >> fill in the Summarize dialog
  • Generate maps
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