Holy cow. Esri just saved me a lot of time. With the SSURGO Downloader from Esri you can now download pre-packaged SSURGO soil data by watershed with all the attributes you need (like Farmland Class, Absorption Rating, etc.). You used to have to download from NRCS or USDA, then import attributes to an access template, then export, then join, then export. This saves a lot of time and allows for mapping prime farmlands a lot quicker. Thanks Richard Nauman, Michael Dangermond, and Charlie Frye!
Here is a map I created using an ArcGIS to Illustrator workflow. It is included in the article:
Preferred Office Locations: Comparing Location Preferences and Performance of Office Space in CBDs, Suburban Vibrant Centers and Suburban Areas by Emil Malizia. The full study/article can be downloaded at the NAIOP website here.
1. Export OSM file from www.openstreetmap.org
2. Install QGIS
3. Install QuickOSM Plugin (Plugins/Manage and Install Plugins/Search for QuickOSM)
4. Click on QuickOSM icon in toolbar
5. OSM File/Open the .osm file
6. Right click on files and export to .shp
7. Open .shp files (attached) in ArcGIS
I am addicted to collecting GIS data. In addition to the collection habit, the DEMs, land cover datasets, growth forecasting and suitability models seem to overwhelm whatever new absurdly large storage mechanism acquired. Enter GetFolderSize-a great little application that mimics what XP used to be able to do. It scans folders so that you know where the largest data is. And it works in Windows 7.
This article from Esri outlines how to use Python to assign sequential numbers to a field. I use this to create unique IDs for feature classes.
Some may think that small southern towns (and cities) are not dense. It always surprises me to find pockets of density where you would least expect it. Check this map out of housing unit densities in Wake County, NC.
Are you tired of hunting for a projection when creating feature datasets or reprojecting data in ArcGIS? Well you don’t have to hunt. Just copy the .prj file from the subfolder in the Projected Coordinate Systems folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Coordinate Systems\Projected Coordinate Systems) and place it in Coordinate Systems folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Coordinate Systems).
Now when you are prompted to select a coordinate system you do not need to hunt for it, it is available immediately in the first dialog. Store copies of all of your “favorite” projections here and it will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Esri’s Mapping Center does a good job of reminding us that ArcGIS is getting better and better at cartography. This blog explains how to add a drop shadow to a polygon. It works great for study area maps like the one below.