Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Trusty Old ArcView 3.2

Sun, 09 Jul 2006

My main system at home died this week so I have been working off my old laptop (a Vaio N50SX designed for Windows 98!). Being just a little descrepid (no battery and 128Mb RAM) it has Arcview 3.2 on it but no ArcMap. I've therefore been relearning all those old ArcView skills. I use ArcView less and less nowadays and really only come back to it for running the odd Avenue script. Anyway, I have been transcribing some x,y corrdinates in Excel and needed to do the following:

1. Import x,y data
2. Add projection information to shapefile
3. Overlay on to basemap

Whilst this would have been fairly quick and easy in ArcMap (because I know how to do it!), I had to figure out the "ArcView way". Which, surprisingly, is quicker and more intuitive than ArcMap!! Thats life I guess. Anyway, the solution to these three tasks were:

1. I exported my coordinates from Excel as a DBF file and then added it as a table to ArcView. THe "Add Event Theme" menu option then takes the coordinates and creates a point shapefile.
2. Use the Projection Utility Wizard (make sure its enabled as an extension) to add projection information.
3. ArcView doesn't (I believe!) support on-the-fly reprojection. My basemap of the world was in Geographic LAt/Long, so I used the Projection Utility Wizard to add projection information and then convert it in to the local coordinate system.

Whilst it took a little while to work out all these steps it was somewhat intuitive. Still plenty of life left in the old dog as they say!!

[/GIS] permanent link


Ken Field wrote at 2006-07-12 09:57:

So why did you waste my time with phone calls and emailed datasets to do the job for you???? Tsk Tsk. Be honest in your blogs!!!

Mike wrote at 2006-07-12 11:58:

OK, honestly caught!! I asked Ken to create a shapefile in the right projection from my Excel data because I couldn't immediately work out how to do it in ArcView. That's the data I'm now using, but I then felt compelled to find a solution in ArcView. It took a while but was eventually forthcoming!

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