Monday, June 19, 2017

Module 6: Geoprocessing with Python

Module 6 of GIS 5103 was pretty straight forward for the most part. This module focused on performing a script using 3 geoprocessing functions: AddXY tool, Buffer tool, and Dissolve tool.  I would recommend taking time on the Exercise portion and really understanding the process before starting the Assignment. This is something that really helped me get through this assignment.

Below is a screenshot of my results for Module 6.

I completed this task in PythonWin by following these general steps:
1) Making sure that I began with the proper coding at the beginning which would act like a baseline for the following codes. (ex: from arcpy import env)
2) Writing the AddXY_management code correctly 
3) Writing the Buffer tool code correctly (print GetMessages() afterwards)
4)Writing the Dissolve_management tool code correctly (print GetMessages() afterwards)

This lab was fairly short and somewhat straightforward after a lot of studying beforehand. Ready for Module 7!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Module 5: Geoprocessing in ArcGIS

In week 5 we learned how to work with geoprocessing tools, models, and scripts using Python and ModelBuilder. This week's exercise portion really helped me out with the activity portion, so for this week my tip is to really understand and use the exercise as a reference for this lab. I survived another module which is always a great feeling!

I created the ModelBuilder, Python, and ArcMap products by completing the following steps:
1) Creating a new toolbox in the Module 5 folder
2) Using model builder to create the following product shown as Figure 1. 
3) Setting Model Parameters and Exporting to Python
4) Fixing errors in the script based off of the Assignment requirements.
5) Creating a Script Tool

 Figure 1: The image above is my model result in ModelBuilder. I am confident that I completed this task correctly since the Python Script and ArcMap map ran successfully. I would recommend following the exercise to help end with a result similar to mine for the ModelBuilder.

Figure 2: The image above is my Python Script which you can see in the Interactive Window that it ran successfully. My tip is that if you can create a properly functional model in ModelBuilder then the Python script section of the lab will run smoothly for you. It took me a couple times in ModelBuilder to figure out my error in order to finally run a successful Python script at the end.

Figure 3: The image above is of my final map result in ArcMap which was ran and successfully created by my final ModelBuilder  result (Figure 1). This proves that the ModelBuilder worked successfully and produced the proper layers for my final map result.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Peer-review Assignment#1

Article Critique:
I chose this article because I had never heard about PGIS before and I found it very interesting! The study focused on topics I learned when working on my B.S. Marine Biology degree which is another reason I was drawn to this paper. 

            This is my first time learning about participatory geographic information system (PGIS) and I found it so interesting that you can collect data just from local people from the site of interest. Coral reef conservation is a popular topic because of coral bleaching. In this article, coral reef conservation management in Hawaii is important because of the decline in corals due to threats such as fishing, pollution, tourism, etc. 
PGIS is tool that I believe can work well with other environmental data. I am kind of conflicted on how accurate the data is since it is mainly based on anything that the community members say.  I would love to find more articles to support the accuracy of socispatial data collection.
This article also discusses to a certain extent on the pros of ArcGIS versus a printed map. I think this is important to point out because with a printed map you can only look at what is given in front of you and with ArcGIS you can manipulate the map by moving layers around, changing the basemap, clipping data, etc. This advantage allows this particular study to show the local people who are participating in providing data on the project sites being focused on (West Maui and West Hawaii).

I believe GIS is an extremely useful tool in analysis. The PGIS sounds like an interesting project to work with after reading this article. This is definitely a type of project that I would want to work on one day!

Below is the link and summary/citation.

Participatory GIS to inform coral reef ecosystem management: Mapping human coastal and ocean uses in Hawaii
            Participatory geographic information system (PGIS) is a participatory method involving the collection of sociospatial data in order to perform a spatial analysis. This method connects local knowledge with scientifically-derived data. The Hawaii Coastal Uses Mapping Project focuses on how PGIS can help provide information on coral reef management though local collection of data. The focus is to gather local data on the human effects of ocean and coastal regions of Hawaii which in turn affects coral reef ecosystems that face numerous threats including fishing, pollution, tourism, etc.
West Maui and West Hawaii were the study sites. Each project site had a workshop coordinator who recruited partakers who would provide local information of the project site. Mapping workshops, where data was collected, were set up in each project site. A basemap on ArcGIS was created for each project site. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) “topographic placenames” layer was used as a reference for the partakers to use when sharing their local knowledge of the project site. The pros of working with GIS mapping versus with real maps for this project is the advantage of being able to zoom in and out, display different layers, and being able to edit the maps with the local participants.
The final result of the mapping project has been posted online as a collaborative web map application. The Hawaii Coastal Uses Mapping Project used PGIS, a now more commonly used method for spatial data, to gather knowledge involving the effects of human activity on coral reefs in the two study sites where there was lack of information on this topic. This method of gathering data is cost-efficient and a less time-consuming process which is useful for a study site like Hawaii, where coastal areas can be difficult and distant to access. Natural resource managers in Hawaii consider the PGIS as a highly useful method that gives state and federal managers resources to understand these human effects on the environment.

Works Cited
Levine, A. S., & Feinholz, C. L. (2015). Participatory GIS to inform coral reef ecosystem management: Mapping human coastal and ocean uses in Hawaii. Applied Geography, 60. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.12.004