Monday, March 28, 2016

Greetings everyone,
      It has been awhile since I lasted posted, I apologize for being behind on finishing my last few assignments. Tonight I am sharing what we worked on before the Easter weekend and finished up today. The assignment called for a map to represent the town of Adams, MA that would display suitable locations for a solar-wind powered housing village. The map took in account the slope of the towns' elevation, the aspect which is the cardinal direction the elevation faces and the winds in the area at 30m/s. The goal was to find locations with a slope less than 20 degrees, a southerly aspect and a wind speed above 5m/second. I was able to acquire this data from MassGIS by downloading a digital elevation model raster map of the state, using the mask tool in ArcToolbox to extract the town of Adams from the state. Then also used the slope and aspect tools to find that information from the new Adams DEM map. After that, I downloaded the New England 30m wind speed raster and also used the mask tool to extract Adams, to create a 30m wind speed raster. I was able to combine all three sets of data using the combine tool after reclassifying the numbers for slope, aspect  and wind to fit the qualifications the assignment was looking for. After that, a combined map display helps show where the suitable sites within Adams are for wind power. One takeaway from this assignment was the extensive use of ArcToolbox tools to extract and reclassify the raster maps to make an efficient map. It was quite tedious work, but I think the outcome was great and definitely very helpful practice in using the data you acquire and being able to present it much clearer in your final map. Hope you enjoy my final product, as always any pointers on improving my map-making skills are welcomed!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hello again folks,
                              I apologize for the gap in posts, this semester has been racing by and this next project has required a good amount of time to get right. The map I will be sharing with you was created as part of one of our class projects that has been focusing on the Nunckatessett Greenway Project. This project is a well developed and planned non-profit coalition that is attempting to create a thriving nature trail along the Town River or Nunckatessett River that runs between the towns of West Bridgewater & Bridgewater, MA. This trail would follow the river's path through the towns, eventually connecting to the Taunton River trails just southeast of Bridgewater. The Nunckatessett Greenway would also connect to the Bay Circuit Trail, a proposed and working trail that follows a crescent route from Massachusetts' south shore to north shore of Massachusetts Bay, between Routes 128 & 495. Overall, the Nunckatessett Greenway would be used to allow residents of its community to enjoy the beauty of nature along the Town River and also learn the history of the communities. River access will allow trail users to bring their canoes or kayaks and travel down river to the Taunton or on other tributaries within the area. With Bridgewater State University located near the center of Bridgewater with a part of the campus in walking distance to the river, the Nunckatessett Greenway could also provide nature access to thousands of students, faculty and visitors. The Greenway Project's planners hope this trail can unite the two communities while bringing history, nature and conservation lands to people's recreation options. The map I created for my end of this class project focuses on the Greenway's path, as well as connecting road and public transportation access to the area. Conservation lands, parks and town centers are highlighted along the route as well. The color-coded sum criteria on the legend represents how many tax parcels within the towns line up to the criteria that I chose would be helpful in seeing which properties along the route would benefit most from the trail, vice versa. This project is still ongoing, I hope to edit the final map a few more times, but hopefully you enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hello Everyone!
                             I have another map to add to the blog tonight. This again was an earlier map we worked on in the first weeks of class and actually is from the same data presented in my first post. Again this map uses the 2010 Population data to create a colored display of the state of Massachusetts' population. I then normalized the map by the number of housing units in 2010 to create the new map below, which has a legend representing the towns by housing units. Then by placing the data in Excel, I was able to create two tables that show the top 5 towns and the bottom 5 towns by housing units. I also added a bar-graph of the top 10 largest cities within the state displayed by housing units too. This map helps us visualize the population of the state and how housing is available in each part. This map does not get into more detail about how many housing units are vacant or not, but it at least gives us a view of how developed or not the towns and cities are within the state. I hope you enjoy my work!

Good Evening Everyone! 
                                          Adding another post tonight that will be sharing a map I made earlier this semester. This map was focused on presenting the top 10 cities by population within Southeast Massachusetts. For those of you who are not as familiar with the geography of the the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, let me explain a bit more of our unique state. Massachusetts is basically a rectangular shaped state that stretches from the Berkshire mountains in the west, east through the hills of central Massachusetts to the coastline of Massachusetts Bay. Cape Cod juts out into the Atlantic from the southeastern edge, while Cape Ann, which is less prominent, stretches northeasterly into Mass Bay. In the southeastern portion of the state, small towns along the coast transition to small towns with wooded areas and farming parcels inland. But, several cities exist in this region including Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton that once were booming industrial centers. Today, these cities' economies have changed although most have remnants of the past continuing, especially New Bedford as it is still an active port city, but the populations remain high in these urban built up areas. For this map, those four cities were examined, as well six smaller, but highly populated towns based on their 2000 U.S. Census data. For the map, we used the demographic data in an Excel table to focus on the population make-up, as well housing statistics to better understand the size of these cities. The final product attempted to focus in on the southeast region and these 10 cities, by presenting the map along with a few graphs and tables so you may read the data easier. Hope this map was helpful in understanding more about Massachusetts! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hello Everyone!
                            Here with another example of using ArcGIS Online to create maps using Excel data-sets. For this short  assignment we were allowed to create an Excel file using 10 locations we wanted to highlight in the world. For this project, I chose 10 cities that I have had the opportunity to live in and visit in my travels. I created the Excel sheet by adding the location of the cities, the states and countries they are in. I then added a short description in my own words of these places and found the websites for each city. I then was able to add an image copied from those city websites to show up in the ID of the city once you click on it in the online map. You will be able to click on the URL to link to the city's website to learn more about these places. I hope more of you get to visit these awesome places!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

UFO Sightings Across the United States: "Do You Believe?"

My map:
Hello again Geographically minded folks! It's been awhile, but here is a new post using GIS to share some data. This post utilizes the ArcMap Online webpage, which is the online platform for ArcMap GIS programs where you are able to create maps that are easily accessible via the web. Using ArcMap Online, one can create a map from data they have already downloaded, then share it for online users to view with a bit more ease than opening up an ArcMap program on your computer. For this assignment we downloaded the UFO Sightings in the US table from a Wikipedia page and created an Excel sheet with the data. We then simply added the data to ArcGIS online and gave it bright orange location markers. Now, when you open the online map, you can click on the location markers to read about the UFO incidents that occurred in those locations. This was a simple, quick assignment, I hope to practice a few more similar maps that are easy and fun to show how GIS data can be used. Enjoy!...(Are we alone??)...

Wiki Page:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Good Evening All,
                                This is the first post for my new blog that will be tracking my progress through the GEOG413: Applications in Geographic Information Systems course at Bridgewater State University. This course is the second GIS course I will be enrolled in while pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree in Geography here at BSU, this blog will share with the world the assignments and projects I will be working on this semester. I hope you will find these small and large assignments interesting as they will demonstrate the use of GIS in mapping and sharing the countless amounts of data that help to explain our world!

 First short-Assignment: Create a black-and-white map that displays the population of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts spread across each town and city. This map was the beginning task for the semester and helped us all shake off the dust on our ArcMap skills (since I haven't fully used GIS in a year). The map was created by using the 2010 Census Population data that I added from the class data folder. After making sure the numbers make sense, the color ramp in the legend had to line up with the map, the other key map elements were added to make a presentable picture. The Census data was provided from the MassGIS website, which is a wicked-awesome GIS data site, one I will be using much more often. Hope you enjoy this practice in GIS mapping technology, I hope to provide a a vital record of my progress in this class.