GEOG 585
Open Web Mapping

Lesson 3 assignment: Prepare term project data and experiment with a GDAL utility


In this week's assignment, you'll get a chance to use some of your newfound QGIS and GDAL skills to prepare your term project data. This assignment has two distinct parts:

  1. Identify some data of interest (either from your workplace or your own personal interests) that you will use in the term project. The data must include thematic layers and layers suitable for creating a basemap from. So, even if in your final term project you are planning to use available 3rd party basemap options, please obtain some additional data sets that can serve as a background for your thematic data. If necessary, you can create some of the layers yourself.

    Download these datasets and get them into the desired format and scope using FOSS tools. Also, project them into the EPSG:3857 projection (one of the tools we'll use later requires it).

    Then write 300 - 500 words about your choice of these datasets, also describing the methods and tools you used to process them. Indicate which of the datasets will act as the thematic layer in your eventual web map.

    Include relevant screenshots, including an image of your final datasets all shown together in QGIS. Don't worry too much about cartography yet; just show me that you obtained and projected the datasets.

    Please note that in your practical workday, you should use whatever tools are easy and available to wrangle your data (including proprietary software); however, in this assignment, I would like you to use FOSS, so you can get some practice with it.

    Submit this portion of the assignment to the Lesson 3 (part 1) drop box on Canvas.
  2. Investigate a GDAL (or OGR) command that you might find useful in your day-to-day work. On the Lesson 3 assignment (part 2) forum on Canvas, post an example of successful syntax that you used with this command, along with "before" and "after" screenshots showing how a dataset was affected by the change. This can be a command that you used in the assignment above, but not one of the commands detailed in the lesson walkthrough. Please make sure to briefly explain the parameters used in your command, unless their meaning is extremely obvious (like input and output file names).

    The following pages list the available commands. Although the OGR list looks short, be aware that ogr2ogr has many available parameters and can do a variety of things:

    GDAL raster programs
    OGR vector programs