Digitizing, part 1

This week’s lab deliverable: Upload video topics 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 to this week’s ELC lab assignment dropbox.  I suggest you re-read the ArcGIS Video Tasklist instructions before you proceed (  If you adhere to the recording guidelines, you can submit the videos to the FinalExamVideos assignment dropbox too.  Remember to use the VideoAssignment data.


I will be using the Almond Orchard property (https://www.stromerrealty.com/listings/42-acre-almond-orchard-solano-county-ca) to demonstrate the digitizing process.  You can use this property, too, for this lab assignment.  However, if you want to submit the videos for credit towards the final video project, then you need to use the property referenced in the instructions referenced in the first paragraph.  Take notes, I will walk you through the process first.  You will have an opportunity to digitize in just a bit.

Before you begin, you must:

  1. Figure out where your site is located
    1. Find it in Google Earth, drop a pin, export the pin as a KML
  2. Determine what county you will be working in and download the newest NAIP from the NRCS
    1. Now that you know the county name, figure out the county’s FIPS code
    2. Remember that the NAIP imagery is saved by YEAR, STATE, COUNTY FIPS
    3. Copy the downloaded image to your workspace and uncompress the image
    4. Load the image to your blank ArcMap project
  3. Set/Verify the Data Frame Coordinate System
    1. Determine the appropriate coordinate system for your ArcMap project
      1. Look at the NAIP’s coordinate system information (Properties>Source) and set the Data Frame Coordinate system to match (NOTE: this is ONLY appropriate because you downloaded the image from a reputable source)
      2. If you are using an image basemap from another source, YOU must determine the appropriate coordinate system
    2. View > Data Frame > Coordinate System tab…
  4. Decide if you will be using shapefiles or file geodatabase feature classes

It is your choice to use shapefiles or feature classes in a file geodatabase.  You can use both of these GIS file types to store points, lines, or polygons.  If you are using shapefiles, then you will create a shapefile for your points, another for your lines, and a third for your polygons.  If you are using a file geodatabase, then you create one file geodatabase and then create a ‘feature class’ to store your points, a feature class to store your lines, and a feature class to store your polygons.


Video help: