Guidelines for the final project

Work in pairs or up to three people. You MAY do this alone but I don’t recommend it. Please come up with a “new” idea, not one similar to what we’ve worked out in class or one you’ve done before. However, please feel free to use library resources in generating ideas. Just be sure to cite them. I usually have some ideas, so if you’re looking for a “local” project, come see me soon.

Sources for project ideas

  1. An acceptable project must include these aspects
    1. an analysis of a geology or resource-based problem that requires data that we have already, you can download, or that you can reasonably create from maps.
      • we have lots of data on the R:\(\\geodata\vol2) drive including
        geology, DEMs, satellite image, karst, and more
      • web access to tons more via ArcGIS online and remote servers (USGS, EPA, Virginia, etc), including satellite images, land use, wetlands?, soils? you name it.
      • you are free to make up fictitious data for a small part of the project.
    2. An algorithm
    3. More than one manipulation of a data layer (e.g. slope from DEM)
    4. A neighborhood filter, a buffer, watershed, or viewshed analysis (a distance analysis)
  2. An excellent project will use more than one of these complex analyses
    • a remote sensing image analyzed to address some question (ratio’ed and reclassed, classified for land use or cover, map lineations using filters,…..etc. Anything that isn’t simply a pretty picture serving as a backdrop for the GIS analysis, which is also welcome).
    • zonal statistics
    • rubber rulers (dynamically-scaled buffers)
    • cost surfaces
    • use of line, point, or polygon shape properties in the analysis
    • prior/posterior probability
    • … and anything else we didn’t cover!
      • networks
      • multiple scenarios/iterations
      • geocoding
  3. An algorithm is due two weeks prior to the final presentation. It should include all of the necessary input data, as detailed a processing algorithm as you can imagine before you start, and anticipated result layers. I will evaluate your ability to correctly predict a process that reaches the conclusion you seek (25 pts). This will also give me a chance to prevent you from engaging in overly complex or difficult tasks. You may keep submitting it as it gets closer to reality for the full 25 pts.
  4. Each raw data layer & final result data, plus the final ArcGIS project, must include metadata so that I can trace the process from beginning to end. The metadata for final maps must include the name and location of any model used, and any steps that required calculations/operations outside the model. Metadata for the remote sensing layers must include the names of processing algorithms and details of classification routines as well as the dataset(s) from which they originated. Much of these metadata are in the geoprocessing steps saved with the layer if you use the geoprocessing pane, or the model serves as the “history” if you don’t.
  5. Prepare a 48×36 inch poster that states the problem, demonstrates the steps in the analysis, and gives a brief interpretation of the results. We will schedule a poster session at the end of the class (last Friday of the term).
  6. Your grade will depend on
    • the scope of your question (does it make full use of GIS capability)
    • the quality, appropriateness and depth of the analyses (what have you learned in this class?)
    • metadata
    • the content, style, and quality of your final poster.
  7. Final Projects layouts (posters) must be done 2 hours before the final class so that they can be successfully printed. If it is late, you lose at least a letter grade and if you can’t participate in the poster session, grading starts at -50 points.
  8. You will also turn in snips of your models, folders and metadata. Hold on for where and how.
  9. Keep one current backup of your final project folder at all times. Save frequently, close and backup regularly.  I recommend that you
    1.  save the project with a version name (fp-ver2.aprx, fp-ver3.aprx, etc) in case one goes bonkers.
    2. after working for a couple or few hours, stop, save and close your project. Make a backup of the entire project folder. Delete old backups as you successfully move forward.
    3. Don’t work on GIS for more than a few hours at one sitting! (so that you don’t forget 1 and 2).
  10. Grading Rubric (you will fill out two of these forms for other posters, and enter your data into a google form after the presentations are posted. Instructions will appear here).