GEOG 486
Cartography and Visualization

Part I: Getting Started


A. Download Lesson Data (1.7 MB) - For a review of the download/extraction steps, see Lesson 2, part 1.

B. Review the Data Layers Provided

Via ArcCatalog, take a look at the data you have downloaded. There are coverages and shapefiles. The coverages are in the two folders, named oregon and PR.

Also, take a look at the data files via Windows Explorer or a My Computer window. Recall that shapefile datasets are made up of multiple files all having the same root name.

Back in Geography 483 you were told that the files making up a coverage dataset are distributed between a folder that exhibits the name of the coverage and a folder named info. So, for example, in the oregon folder you will see an info folder and a folder named or_boundary. Together these make up the or_boundary coverage dataset that you see via the ArcCatalog interface.

You will be creating several personal geodatabase files throughout this lesson. Recall that a personal geodatabase is actually a single .mdb file. From a file maintenance standpoint it is not hard to see the convenience inherent in having only a single file to keep track of, especially when that file can contain multiple layers of spatial information. In 484 you also learned about file geodatabases, which are folders (as opposed to single files). Esri recommends using file geodatabases over personal geodatabases due to flexibility and capacity of file geodatabases, but we will use personal geodatabases in this lesson because, as a single file, they will be easier to zip up and submit with several other files.

That is it for Part I

You have just completed Part I of this project.