L1.04: Assignment


Make Two Maps

Let's create two ad hoc maps by dropping pin markers to designate the following:

Map 1 - The Location of Your Home

For the first part of the assignment, you are asked to drop a pin marker on the location of your home using ArcGIS Online. After you add your pin, you will see a popup box with three fields to populate with your age, gender, and why you are taking this course (Why GEOINT). Click on the map below to launch ArcGIS Online.The instructions are contained on the right side of the map. You can change to a background image in the "Basemap Gallery" to help accurately locate your house before you drop the pin.

screen capture of the ESRI pin map.
Click on the map to launch ArcGIS Online
Credit: J. Kerski / ArcGIS online

Map 2 - The Location of the Next International Disaster

For the next part of the assignment, I am going to ask you to anticipate something based on your experience, knowledge, or just a gut feeling. Think carefully about this. Below the map, I have provided some guidelines you should consider before placing your pin on the map. When you are ready, click on the map below to launch ArcGIS Online and drop a pin marker on the location of where you predict the next international disaster will occur. A pop-up will appear for you to select the country that you live in. I will refer back to this data in Lesson 4.

screen capture of the ESRI pin map.
Click on the map to launch ArcGIS Online
Credit: J. Kerski / ArcGIS online

Your anticipated disaster must fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Ten (10) or more people reported killed.
  • One hundred (100) or more people reported affected.
  • Declaration of a state of emergency.
  • Call for international assistance.

The cause of the anticipated disaster should fall into one of the following subgroups:

Table 1.1 - Disaster Subgroups
Disaster Subgroup Definition Disaster Main Type
Geophysical Events originating from solid earth Earthquake,


Mass Movement (dry)
Meteorological Events caused by short-lived/small to meso scale atmospheric processes (in the spectrum from minutes to days) Storm
Hydrological Events caused by deviations in the normal water cycle and/or overflow of bodies of water caused by wind set-up Flood,

Mass Movement (wet)
Climatological Events caused by long-lived/meso to macro scale processes (in the spectrum from intro-seasonal to multo-decadal climate variability) Extreme Temperature,


Biological Disaster caused by the exposure of living organisms to germs and toxic substances Epidemic,

Insect infestation,

Animal Stampede

You might wish to view the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT). EM-DAT was created with the initial support of the World Health Organization and the Belgian Government. The main objective of the database is to serve the purposes of humanitarian action at national and international levels. Use the following link to access the Emergency Events Database directly.

Technical Notes

Let's briefly discuss a few technical notes to ensure your success using ArcGIS Online in our course:

  1. We will be making full use of web mapping services. The maps in these services are laden with information, and therefore, a robust web connection is important throughout the course.
  2. To take advantage of these web-based technologies, you need to be using a fairly new version of a standard web browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer. In other words, a 5 year old browser will not work well with the Java and other scripts running the maps behind the scenes, and therefore, an old web browser may not display your maps correctly.
  3. To maximize the speed at which your web browser runs, consider disabling or removing some add-on and plug-in extensions to your web browser, including “Ask” toolbars and other items that reduce the amount of canvas space that you might wish for your maps and that tend to take up memory and slow down your web browser.
  4. Because our course is web-based and uses dynamic maps, as with anything on the web, be patient, practice the problem-solving techniques modeled in this course, and be flexible. If a certain map or website won't display at a particular time, try a different browser or try it at a different time, or try truncating the URL and approaching the desired URL from the organizational root of the URL. If it still won’t appear, we would rather have you move on and think about the larger issue that we are discussing, not, for example, the technical details on whether you can add a photo image as a pop-up to your map. You can always come back to a particular resource later and try again. Keep learning and ... have fun!

Here re a few resources that might be helpful:


The ArcGIS Online capabilities used here were developed by the absolutely amazing Joseph Kerski, Geographer and Esri Education Manager.