Part 1—Download Software and Data

Step 1 " Download and Install My World GIS Software

Note: (2018) My World GIS is now unavailable
Note: (August 2015) A 45-day free trial of My World is available through PASCO scientific.
  1. Open the PASCO My World homepage. Scroll down the page, and click the Free Trial tab.

  2. Select the version of software for your type of operating system or platform (Windows or Mac OS X).
  3. Click the word Download to begin downloading the installer to your computer.
  4. A My World GIS™ version 5.0 Trial Version Installer will download to your computer.
  5. Double click the installer app and follow the onscreen instructions to install My World GIS on your computer.
Note: You may want to return to the My World GIS website later and explore its resources.

Step 2 " Download the Wetlands Project File

  1. Right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) the link below to download the project file to your computer. Choose the option that will download the file to your computer. "Download Linked File..." "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." are common browser commands to accomplish this task. This is a large data file, so it may take several minutes to download. It is NOT necessary to unzip this file. My World will read the file as it is.
    Wetlands.m3vz ( 15.5MB Oct9 10)
  2. Save this file in a place where you can easily locate it. If possible, store it in the Projects folder of the My World data folders. The pathway to the folder is:
    Applications (or Programs) > My World GIS 4.x > data > Projects.
My World GIS can open a project file wherever it is on your computer. However, to make it available through the Data Library, you must place it inside the My World GIS 4.x > data > Projects folder. The default location for My World GIS software is in the Applications or Programs folder.

Step 3 " Download Land Use and Land Cover Data

Land Use Land Cover (LULC) Classification

Land cover is the physical surface cover of Earth. Examples of land cover include forests, grassland, and water. Land use is defined as how humankind uses and manages land. Land use often involves the modification and management of natural land cover into agricultural fields, settlement areas and recreational spaces.

National Land Use Land Cover (LULC) classification codes were developed by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) and NASA in the 1970's to meet the needs of Federal and state agencies. The classification system was designed for use with remote sensing data, including data from the LANDSAT and MODIS satellites, as well as aerial images. The codes are intended to standardize classification techniques resulting in maps that are compatible around the world.

One of the goals of land cover and land use classification is to enable the tracking of land use change over time. Global land use has changed rapidly in the past 100 years. Without adequate monitoring of change, it becomes difficult to prevent haphazard and uncontrolled growth, which can cause environmental degradation and destruction of important habitats, including wetlands. Other goals of land cover classification and monitoring include water resource inventory, flood control, and water supply planning. Additionally, the assessment of land use patterns aids in the management of wildlife. More recently, land use and land cover data have become important in the monitoring of climate change.

Source: USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

Download the Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) data from Baker County, FL to use in this project.

  1. Click the link to go to the WebGIS website. Notice the three possible choices found under the (Land Use Land Cover) LULC Data heading in the middle of the page.
  2. Click on the Shapefile (Lat/Long) link to obtain data in geographic coordinates.
  3. In the next window, click on the desired state on the map, in this case, Florida.
  4. Click on the desired county, Baker County, FL.
    1. Select Florida.
    2. Select Baker County. 
      select baker county
  5. In the next window that opens, click on the name of the land use area file, Valdosta, in order to download its corresponding shapefile. Click OK, to begin the download. You ONLY need to download the file highlighted in red in the screen shot below.
  6. Once the download is complete, move the zipped file to your My World data folder or project data folder and unzip the file.
  7. You should now have 4 files (ending with .shp, .shx, .dbf and .txt) in your data folder. These files define the shapefile and need to be kept as a group.
  8. Since this particular land use shape file does not have meaningful metadata (i.e., what does LUCODE "12" mean?), download the two files below with the codes (metadata) that you will need to interpret the classification. Put them in a folder on your desktop or documents folder, or another location where you can find them easily.
    • Download classification codes in PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 34kB Oct3 10)This PDF file contains the classification codes and is suitable for printing. It will be used in the next part. It is not necessary to print this document, just save it in a location that you can find it again.
    • Download classification codes in CSV (Comma Separated Values 1kB Oct3 10)This CSV (comma separated values) file will be joined to the previously downloaded shapefile for a more descriptive legend in Part 3.