Exercise 1: Introduction to ArcView 2

CE 397 GIS in Water Resources
University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

Brief Overview of ArcView2

ArcView2 is a software program, developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), which is used to do GIS analysis. It differs from Arc/Info in that Arc/Info is designed to develop GIS data while Arcview is designed to interact with GIS data which has already been created.

All activities within Arcview are organized with a Project, which may consist of a number of views, layouts, charts, tables, and scripts (Scripts are programs in the Avenue language and this exercise does not include user-defined scripts). The functions of Arcview include: displaying coverages in a view, viewing the related attribute tables of this view, relating attribute tables with a key item, plotting charts to display spatial information, and creating layouts of the view and related tables and charts.

Goals of the Exercise

Computer and Data Requirements

To carry out this exercise, you need to have access to a PC, workstation or MacIntosh system which runs Arcview2, either version 2.0 or 2.1. Several of the computers in the Learning Resources Center (LRC) have ArcView 2.1 installed. You need to download the following coverages:
  1. A polygon coverage of the counties of Texas, called Texas
  2. A point coverage of pan evaporation gage data, called Evap
* The coverages which you need to complete this exercise consist of three files each (evap.dbf, .shp, .shx and texas.dbf, .shp, .shx). For UT Austin students the files are located on the LRC NT network in the directories class\maidment\ce397\av2_intro\evap and ...\av2_intro\texas . They can be copied to your working directory over the network using filemanager (copy the complete folders). All students can download the file via anonymous ftp from ftp.crwr.utexas.edu/pub/gisclass/ex1. Instructions on how to use anonymous ftp.


Please Note: The following procedure is a general outline which can be followed to complete this lesson. However, the user is encouraged to experiment with the program and be creative.

  1. Start Arcview: Execute ArcView II on your machine. On PC's this can be done by clicking on this Icon in the Program Manager Window

    When ArcView is first executed, a new untitled project window is opened. This window includes several icons marked view, table, chart, and layout. This is the main project window, which allows you to create new views, charts, etc., or to open existing ones that you have already created in that project.

    Help!If you are lost and don't know how to do something, ArcView has on-line help which is accessed by hitting the ? symbol in the top right corner of the display window.

  2. Display Themes in a View: Now, be sure that the view icon is highlighted in the Project window and click on New for a new view. Drag the view window out of the way and resize it if necessary. Add a new theme to the view by clicking on the + button on the top tool bar. Go to your local workspace directory either by typing the directory name into the pathname box or double-clicking on the directory with the mouse. Highlight the two coverages shown, Texas and Evap, and click on OK to add them to your view. They will show up as a bar in the view window legend with the name of the coverage shown on it. Click on the raised box to the left of the bar to make a check mark and see the coverage displayed in the View window. Drag the legend bar for the polygon coverage (Texas) below that for the point coverage (Evap) to show points on top of polygons. Dragging a theme is accomplished by clicking beside the theme symbol, holding down the mouse and dragging the box that appears.

  3. Adjust the Display of the Themes: Adjust the coloring of a theme by clicking on its color box and using the paint brush symbol in the top right corner of the tool bar which appears. Select Apply to get the new color. Close the color change boxes using the icon in their upper left corner. To zzom in on a portion of the view, use in the lower row of the upper tool bar. To return to the whole view use the Zoom to extent of selected themes tool in the upper row of the tool bar.

  4. Open a Table: Highlight a theme by clicking next to its symbol on the index of themes, then go to the top tool bar and click on the symbol for opening a table. This will give you all the tabular data associated with the theme. In this case, we want the information associated with the theme, Evap, which contains the monthly evaporation for the measurement stations in Texas. By clicking on a row in the table you can highlight the row and the corresponding feature (evaporation station location) in the map. By holding down the shift key you can highlight several features at once. By clicking on the View window and then using the box selection tool in the left side of the lowest top tool bar you can select features from the map and see the records highlighted on the table. By clicking on the table icon with a small number of dots in it you can unselect all records. By using the i icon in the View tool bar you can find out information about any selected feature (a display of its record in the data table).

  5. Make a Chart: With the table open, click on the Chart icon in the Project window, select the items from the table to be added to the chart in the properties box and give the chart a name. For our exercise, we wish to plot the monthly evaporation, so highlight the months on the left hand side and click on the box labeled Add. After clicking OK, the chart will be plotted. You can change the form of the chart using the top tool bar. You can label the horizontal axis using the item names in the theme table. If these are too long to fit on the chart you can use the Alias list in the Table/Property list to shorten them for display.

  6. Make a Layout: With all these things open, click on the Layout icon in the project area. Under Layout/Select Use Template and you'll see the box open and the Layout display show up. You can change the size of the display or edit the other features in the layout by clicking on them. You can add another object template to the layout using the right hand side tool in the lowest row of the upper tool bar. Select the chart object about 2/3 the way down the options given to add a chart. To connect the chart visually to the corresponding point in the view using the draw tool (T) in the lower row of the upper tool bar.

  7. Save the Project: Once you've got your project set up, you can save it onto a file under File/ Save Project. The file you save has an extension .apr which is a Project file containing the information about the structure of your project, including the location of the themes dislayed in it. Copy the contents of your local workspace onto a diskette and clear the files from the hard disk of the machine you are working on. Remove the local directory that you created for this exercise.

TO BE TURNED IN: A copy of your layout showing the map of Texas and display of evaporation pan data in some form. Some example layouts produced by previous students in this course are shown below.

Example Layouts

Sample Layout 1

Sample Layout 2

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