You can use ArcView to create meaningful maps.
ArcView is a geographic information system, or GIS, software produced by Esri, based in Redlands, Calif. GIS allows users to combine data, software and hardware to manipulate, analyze, display and print spatial data. Working through a tutorial allows users new to ArcView to learn key GIS concepts.
1. Double-click the “ArcView” icon on your computer’s desktop to start the GIS software.
2. Click the option to start with “A new empty map” and the ArcView interface will open with two main sections. The smaller section on the left of the screen is the “Table of Contents” pane that displays the name and symbology of everything within your map, referred to as layers. The larger pane on the left is the “Data Frame View” that will display your spatial data.
3. Click the “File” menu and then click “Page Setup” if your map document needs to be a different size than a standard-letter size. Many sizes are available, or you can select a custom size.
4. Click the “Layout” button at the bottom left of the “Data Frame View.” The “Layout View” shows you exactly how your map will look when you print or export the map. Many GIS users work with the layout view because they can see how changes impact their map immediately.
5. Click the “Add Data” button on the toolbar, symbolized by a yellow diamond with a black plus sign, at the top of the ArcView user interface. The “Add Data” window will open and you can then navigate to where your spatial data is stored. GIS data is available in several formats: shapefile, geodatabase, raster or imagery and layer files, all of which are further categorized by polygon, line, point and annotation or label data.
6. Click a polygon boundary to provide a geographic reference for your map and click “OK.” The boundary file will appear in your “Table of Contents” pane with the polygon symbology and in the “Layout View” pane.
7. Click the “Add Data” button to add roads. Click the “Add Data” button again to add cities to your map.
8. Click the symbol for any item in the “Table of Contents” to bring up the Symbol Selector window, which allows you to change how an item displays in your map. You can modify polygon boundaries, fill color, shading and hatching as well as line widths, intervals and colors. You may modify point data by changing the size, shape and color of the point.
9. Right-click any layer in the “Table of Contents” pane to bring up a context menu that will allow you to view the attribute table for the layer or change the layer’s properties.
10. Double-click any layer in the “Table of Contents” and click the “Definition Query” tab in the Properties window to change how much or little of a layer is displayed. For example, you may change the definition query of a national boundary such as the United States to only show one state or an entire region. You can do the same for polygon, line and point layers in your map.
11. Change the order in which your layers are drawn by clicking them in the “Table of Contents” pane and moving them up or down. Polygons are usually first with lines drawn next and point data last so all the data can be seen at once.
12. Click the “Zoom In” button, represented by a magnifying glass, to zoom into the map. There is also a “Zoom Out” button as well.
13. Click the “Insert” menu and then click “Title” to add an appropriate title to your map. Add other text such as notes by clicking the “Insert” menu and clicking “Text.”
14. Click the “Insert” menu and click “Legend” to add a legend to your map. Click the “Insert” menu again to add a “North Arrow” to your map. Click the “Insert” menu one last time and click “Scale Bar” to add a scale bar to your map.
15. Click the “File” menu and click “Export” to export your map to an electronic format. ArcView can export your map in many document formats, including .pdf, eps, .jpg and .ai. This allows you to share a copy of your map electronically with other users who may not have the ArcView software.