Eyes in the Sky II > GIT Web Course > Module 2 > Week 5 > Intro to GIS > Intro to AEJEE

Week 5: Monitoring Invasive Species

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Intro to ArcExplorer Java Edition for Education (AEJEE)

identify and map hovering2

ArcExplorer Java Edition for Education (AEJEE) is a downloadable, lightweight Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tool for exploring geographic data. It is possible to combine point, line, polygon, and image data in a GIS such as AEJEE. AEJEE comes with a large selection of built in data that can be used in projects. AEJEE can save and open projects, so work can be shared between users, or between school and home. AEJEE can classify and symbolize shapefiles, display image data, project on-the-fly shapefiles stored in decimal degrees, and use data distributed over the Internet from ArcIMS services from the Geography Network, or other hosted ArcIMS sites.

It is also possible to use AEJEE with data that is downloaded from a GPS unit to create custom layers of information that then can be related to scientific and other types of data. GIS Data is often freely available over the Internet from cities, counties and federal organizations such as the National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Geologic Survey (USGS).


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The AEJEE Toolbar

The AEJEE toolbar contains a variety of tools for analyzing and manipulating geographic data. You will learn about the tools as you use them.


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Download Geographic Data About Invasive Species

  • Right-click on the PC or control-click on the Mac to download the zipped file below.
    Zipped file of Invasive_Species lesson and data (Zip Archive 39.5MB Feb22 10)
  • Unzip the file. A folder called Invasive_speciesAE will be created.
  • Move the entire Invasive_SpeciesAE folder to inside the Data folder of AEJEE.
    The navigation path should be - path: ESRI/AEJEE/Data/Invasive_SpeciesAE

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Explore a GIS Map

AEJEE_logo
  • Launch AEJEE by double-clicking its icon on your desktop or by clicking its icon in the dock (Mac) or Launch Bar (Win).
  • Choose File > Open, navigate to ESRI/AEJEE/Data/Invasive_SpeciesAE folder, Open the folder and select the file inv_spc.axl. Then click Open.
    1. Choose File > Open
    2. Navigate to ESRI/AEJEE/Data/Invasive_SpeciesAE
      path to project file 1
    3. Open the Invasive_SpeciesAE folder.
    4. Select the file inv_spc.axl. Then click Open.

      path to project file

    opening map inv spc

    When the project opens, a world map is displayed. Countries are shown in grey and lines of Longitude and Latitude are drawn at 30 degree intervals.

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Zoom in and out

  • Use the Zoom In Zoom in tool to click once on South America.
  • The map is centered on South America after one click with the Zoom In tool.
    Zoom in SA
  • Click once on the Zoom to Full Extent tool Zoom to full extent all layers to take the map all the way back out to a full view.
    NOTE: This is a nice trick if you get lost and just want to start over again.
  • This view shows the map zoomed back to full extent.
    Zoom to full extent again
  • Continue clicking on the map with the Zoom In Zoom in tool. The tool automatically centers the zoom around the area where you click. How far can you zoom in?

  • Map zoomed in all the way. Notice the 1:1 numbers circled at the bottom. zoomed all the way in

    As you zoom closer and closer on image (raster) data, you eventually see "pixels." A lot of GIS data is vector-based so you can continue to zoom in nearly infinitely.

    The reference numbers at the bottom of the map are the scale of the map represented as a ratio or a fraction. They refer to the level of magnification. At the maximal level of zooming in you see 1:1 as the magnification. In other words, 1 inch on the map would be equal to one 1 inch in reality. As you zoom back out, watch the numbers in the ratio change. When you put the map back to full view, the scale reads 1:126,078,976. So this means that 1 inch on the map represents 126,078,976 inches, or approximately 2,000 miles.

  • Use the Zoom Out Zoom Out tool to zoom out several clicks. How far can you zoom out?
  • Here is an example of the map zoomed out.
    zoomed out
  • When you are done exploring zooming, click the Zoom to the Full Extent Zoom to full extent all layers tool.
  • Click and drag out a rectangle across Africa with the Zoom In Zoom in tool. Notice how this allows for more precise zooming.
  • Click and drag a box around Africa.
    Africa 1
    After zooming, the map shows Africa in the center.
    Africa 2
  • Click the Zoom to the Full Extent Zoom to full extent all layers tool to return to the full map view.
  • Likewise, you can also use the Zoom Out tool to drag out a box. It is possible to keep zooming until all you see is just a tiny speck. Sometimes this might happen unexpectedly, especially if you click and drag out a tiny box with the Zoom Out tool. Try this. Then experiment zooming in and out so you get a feel for how this works.
    Map as a tiny speck
    map zoomed all the way out
  • Two other buttons help you navigate on screen. They are the Previous Extent Zoom to Previous and Next Extent zoom to next buttons. Try zooming in and then experimenting with these buttons. The Previous Extent button lets you go back to a previous level of focus. Both of these buttons give you unlimited zooms back and forth between levels.
    Zoom in around the Azores
    azores 1
    Return to previous
    azores 2
    And back again.
    azores 1
  • When you are zoomed in, you can use the Pan pan tool tool to adjust your view. Click and hold the Pan tool and drag your mouse to center your map on another place.
  • When you are done exploring zooming, click the Zoom to the Full Extent Zoom to full extent all layers tool.
Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.


loading the player

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Find longitude and latitude

Move the cursor across the map to discover changes in X and Y and how they relate to longitude and latitude.

  • Start at the far left side of the map and move your cursor horizontally to the right all the way across the map. Observe how the X coordinate changes. The X and Y coordinates are shown in the lower left corner of the map. What happens to the X values?
    The X values start negative and increase as you move right, reach zero, and then become positive values.
    X coordinates
  • Move your cursor vertically from the bottom to the top of the map and observe how the Y coordinate changes. What happens to the Y values?
    The Y values start negative and increase as you move up, reach zero, and then become positive values.
    Y Coordinates
  • Which values are longitude? Which are latitude? How are south and west indicated?
    In this case, the cursor is hovering over southern Alaska.
    Notice in the lower left corner of the map view; X: -150.28772 Y:63.1341.
    X is the Longitude and Y is the Latitude.
    South and west are indicated with negative values.
    Alaska Zoom
  • Just for fun, try to find 0, 0. (Hint: it is near Africa)
  • The cursor is hovering close to 0,0 in the image.
    Exploring Lat long 00
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Click on the movie to start playing.


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Discover How the Layers Build the Map

A GIS map — is made of layers of geographic information connected to specific places on Earth. GIS layers can be global, regional, or local. They can represent 1) points, such as cities, 2) lines, like rivers and roads, or 3) geographic areas such as states and countries.

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Turn layers on and off

To turn a layer on or off, click in the check box next to the name of the layer. The layer will then be displayed on the map.
  • Click the checkbox next to the US States layer to turn it on.
    US States on

  • Currently, the legend of the US States layer is expanded so that the name of every state is displayed. To collapse the legend, click the minus symbol to the left of the layer checkbox. Then use the Zoom In Zoom in tool to zoom in on North America by clicking on the map.
  • The legend of the US States layer is now collapsed and the map view is zoomed into North America.
    dragging countries 1
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Move layers in the Table of Contents

To the left of the map space is a listing of Layers, called the Table of Contents.
  • In the Table of Contents, select the Countries layer by clicking and holding its name. Drag the Countries layer down the list and place it at the bottom.
    Click and hold on the Countries layer in the Table of Contents. Drag it down to the bottom of the list.
    dragging countries 1
    This is what the map looks like with the Countries layer at the bottom.
    Dragging Countries 2
  • What has happened to Countries layer?
    The layer is no longer visible. This is because it is now beneath the Lat / Long layer. If a layer is opaque, as this one is, it can hide other layers. So, in this case, the Lat / Long layer has now hidden the Countries layer.
  • Turn off the Lat / Long Layer and you will be able to see Countries again.
    In the map below, Countries are hidden by Lat / Long.
    Dragging Countries 2
    Turn off Lat / Long and Countries are now visible again.
    In this map the Lat / Long layer has been turned off.
    lat long off

  • Another way to move layers is to right-click on the PC or control-click on the Mac on the name of the layer in the Table of Contents. Then select Move Layer > Move to Bottom. Turn the Lat/ Long layer back on and then move it to the bottom.
    Turn the Lat/ Long layer back on. Right-click on the PC or control-click on the Mac on Lat / Long in the Table of Contents. Then select Move Layer > Move to Bottom.

    Lat long move to bottom
    This is what the map looks like with the Lat / Long layer once again on the bottom.
    dragging countries 1
Each layer in a GIS builds the map. The data that make up the layers are shown as either points, lines, or polygons. These layers come from shapefiles, a standard GIS data format. (It is also possible to add images to a GIS.) The layers are drawn from the bottom to the top as they appear in the Table of Contents. If not positioned properly, it is possible for some layers to cover up others. In general, polygons should be placed at the bottom, while lines and points should be arranged near the top.

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Understand Which Layer You Are Working With

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Make a layer active

When you click on the name of a layer, it is highlighted and becomes active, which tells AEJEE to pay attention to it. Understanding the difference between a layer that is turned on and one that is active can save you time and help prevent frustration. A layer may be on or off as well as active or not. Layers that are on have a checked box while layers that are active are highlighted dark blue. More than one layer can be on and more than one layer can be active.
Turn on and make the US Rivers layer active.
  • To turn on the US Rivers layer, click once in the box next to its name.
    The US Rivers layer is now on.
    US Rivers Layer On
  • To make the US Rivers Layer the Active layer, click once on its name in the Table of Contents. It is now highlighted.
    The US Rivers layer is now the active layer.

    US Rivers On Active
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Zoom to Active Layer

Zoom to the active US Rivers Layer.
  • To zoom in on the US Rivers layer, click the Zoom to Active Layer Zoom to Full Extent tool in the toolbar.
    This shows the view zoomed in, after clicking Zoom to active layer.
    zoom to active rivers after
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Investigate the Geographic Data Behind the Map

What sets a GIS apart is the database of information linked to each layer drawn on the map. This makes it a powerful tool for decision-making and science. The data for each feature displayed on the map can be found in the Attribute Table. This table, or database, contains the geographic records in horizontal rows. The vertical columns, or fields, are the attributes of the data.
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Examine data in the Attribute Table

Select several US Rivers to connect rivers with their river systems.

  • With the US Rivers layer on and Active, right-click on the PC or control-click on the Mac the US Rivers label in the Table of Contents. Then select Attribute Table.
    Open the Attribute Table of US Rivers
    Open Attribute Table of US Rivers
  • In the Attribute Table, click on the NAME Arkansas River. Notice it becomes highlighted in blue in the Table of Contents and in yellow on the map.
    In the map below the Arkansas River is selectedSelect Arkansas River
  • Try this with several rivers. The Attribute Table brings up the records of all the rivers and shows you all the information that is available for each record. For example, you can see which river system various rivers are in. The Arkansas River is in the Colorado River System.

Select all the rivers in the Colorado River System.

  • Open the Attribute Table of US Rivers and right-click on the column that holds the data for the SYSTEM field. Then select Sort Ascending, scroll down the list to where you see the 4 rivers on the map that are in the Colorado System.
    1. Open the Attribute Table of the US Rivers layer.
      Open Attribute Table of US Rivers
    2. In the table, click on the column that holds the data for the SYSTEM field and choose Sort Ascending from the drop down menu.
      Sort Ascending US Rivers
    3. The rivers are now sorted by their system.
      Rivers sorted

  • Hold the shift key and click on the first and last of these 4 rivers to select the rivers as a group.
  • The Colorado River System is selected in the Attribute Table and on the map.
    Select all Rivers in Colorado System
  • Once you have made several selections, close the Attribute Table and click on the Clear Selections button. Clear Selections
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Find features with the Identify Tool

Find rivers on the map with the Identify tool identify button

  • Click on the Identify tool in the toolbar to select it. Use the Identify tool to click on a river on the map to select it. The selected river will flash red and a results window will open.
  • In this example the Rio Grande River has been selected.
    Rio Grande
  • Click on several US Rivers to identify them.
  • At the end of your session, quit AEJEE. Do not save changes that you have made to the map.
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Find Tool Movie
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Explore More if You Have Time

Explore the Attribute Tables of other layers in the map to see the different types of data linked to the map layers.

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Resources

Additional AEJEE Resources
  • Instructional Materials for AEJEE
  • Getting started with GIS
  • Download documentation for AEJEE
  • Geospatial Technology Curriculum Page

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    Movies On This Page

    How to download movies

    • Click the link to go to the SERC media library listing for the movie. The record will open in a new window.
    • On the SERC media library page, right-click (Win) or control-click (Mac) the link (below the movie on the Flash version pages) to download the movie file to your hard drive.
    • Look below the movie window for the file download link.

      Save Movie from CMS listing

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    Flash video versions

    Download these versions to play on your computer. You'll need an appropriate movie player to view the file, such as Flash Player, Real Player (Mac / Win), or Adobe Media Player.

    Movie Icon Zooming AEJEE

    Movie Icon Longitude and Latitude AEJEE

    Movie Icon Layers AEJEE

    Movie Icon Active Versus On AEJEE

    Movie Icon Investigating Database AEJEE

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    iPod versions

    Download these version to play on your iPod or iPhone.

    Movie Icon Zooming AEJEE

    Movie Icon Longitude and Latitude AEJEE

    Movie Icon Layers AEJEE

    Movie Icon Active Versus On AEJEE

    Movie Icon Investigating Database AEJEE