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

Week 5: Monitoring Invasive Species

Intro to My World GIS

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Intro to My World GIS

27 show table of active layer

My World GIS is a downloadable, 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 My World. My World comes with a large selection of built in data that can be used in projects. My World can save and open projects, so work can be shared between users, or between school and home. My World 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 My World 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 My World Toolbar

The My World 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

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Explore a GIS Map

My World Icon

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Zoom in and out

Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.


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Find latitude and longitude

Move the cursor across the map to discover changes the values and how they relate to Longitude and Latitude.

Movie Icon

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 and a symbol that looks like an eye will be displayed in the box. top of page

Explore moving Layers in the Layer List

To the left of the map view is a listing of Layers, called the Layer List.
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 Layer List. 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 My World 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 white with a yellow line around them. More than one layer can be on and but only one layer can be active.
Turn on and make the U.S. Rivers layer active. top of page

Zoom to Active Layer

Zoom to the active U.S. Rivers Layer. Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.


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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 Table of Layer. 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 the Data in the Table of Layer

Select several U.S. Rivers to connect rivers with their river systems.

Select all the rivers in the Colorado River System.

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Find Features of Rivers with the Get Information Tool

Find rivers on the map with the Get Information tool identify

Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.

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 My World Resources
  • Instructional Materials for My World
  • Getting started with GIS
  • Help Center for My World
  • Geospatial Technology Curriculum Page

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    Movies on this Page

    How to download movies

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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 My World

    Movie Icon Latitude and Longitude My World

    Movie Icon Layers My World

    Movie Icon Active Versus On My World

    Movie Icon Investigating Database My World

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    iPod Versions

    Download these version to play on your iPod or iPhone.

    Movie Icon Zooming My World

    Movie Icon Latitude and Longitude My World

    Movie Icon Layers My World

    Movie Icon Active Versus On My World

    Movie Icon Investigating Database My World


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