I started a new GIS (Geographic Information Systems) class from ESRI today: Learning ArcGIS Spatial Analyst. I am taking courses like this to expand and update my GIS skills. Plus, it is cool stuff to work with.
I’ve done some of this before, such as generating shaded relief and contours:
Other things will be new to me, such as interpolating data. An example of this would be filling in precipitation values between scattered weather stations.
I might not get much blogging done this week, as I’d like to really push myself to get this done.
Grace and Peace
Here’s my first hillshade map for this class. This is a hilly region near Harlan, Kentucky, showing the topography with the sun at an elevation of 45 degrees in the northwest:
Here is a slope percent map of the same area. Green areas are flat, red areas are steep, and yellow areas are of intermediate slope:
Here’s one more for tonight. This map shows slope aspect, which is the direction the slope faces:
You could combine the final two maps to search for a homesite on a shady north-facing slope; not too steep, and not in the flats.
All of this illustrates one of the strengths of GIS: the ability to quickly analyze a large geospatial dataset—in this case a digital elevation model—to create new output files.