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Global Geographic Information Systems

Global GIS Quick Start

This page will run you through some of the special functionality that has been built into the ArcView Global GIS interface. You may need to install the ArcView Data Publisher program if you do not own ArcView 3.x. The interface tools shown below have changed over time, thus the CDROM volumes published prior to 2002 may look slightly different.

CDROM Tools Window

DVD Tabbed Tools Window

The main goal of the Global GIS interface was to allow the user to click on any latitude and longitude location and have ArcView create a report of the features found. This is accomplished by use of the Specialty Information Tools on the Global GIS Tools dialog box.

Specialty Information tool

Once you have enabled any of these specialty information tools by pressing the icon, you can then move the cursor over a specific latitude and longitude or an area of interest and click. With the center point now defined, the feature databases will be searched within the user's search radius. The search radius defaults to 50 kilometers. If you would like to change the search radius, you may use the Feature Search Radius Settings area in the Global GIS Tools dialog box to either type in a new radius or drag a new radius on the map.

Feature Search Radius Settings tool

The Create Profile Tool allow the user to generate elevation, population, etc. profiles over the raster datasets. Here is an example of an elevation profile. The Earthquake Tool opens a new dialog that allows you modify the Earthquake legend, show earth quakes by magnitude ranges and one year intervals. That interface is shown here. The Climate Hotlink tool will display the National Climatic Data Center climate monitoring sites. The Gaging Hotlink tool will display real-time streamflow data from the USGS. When a site is clicked on by either of these tools, it will link the user to a website with the current climate or streamflow information. Both of these tools requires the computer to have access to the internet. The Profile and Earthquake tools only exist in the CDROM volumes published in 2002 and the DVD global volume. The Climate and Gaging Hotlink tools only exists on the DVD. Check back for a plug-in that enable these tools on the older versions.

The Information Tools section on the dialog allows the user to select, unselect, query and zoom to the selected features in the datasets. Once a theme is active you may use the 'i' button to query a feature. The red Search button opens up an advanced search tool. The Factbook button allows users to hotlink to the country's World Fact Book page. The 'Pop' button gives the user access to the LandScan population database. This dataset had to be thinned so the smallest population radius is 10 kilometers.

The Table/Select section allows the user to open up the theme's tabular data, select and count features using the defined radius, select features by dragging a box, unselect all features, and zoom tot he selected set of features.

Information tool

To save space in the table of contents, many of the themes legends are hidden. To see the theme's legend, select or activate the theme and press the Toggle Legend button. The Climate and Image buttons open up a new interface that allows the user to turn on and off several more themes. The "LUT" buttons in the image interface will open the look up table for that image. The last button 'Add Theme' allows the user to incorporate their own data into the view. The default views do not have a projection set, thus the user data must be decimal degrees to align.

Table of Contents tool

The documentation portion of the Global GIS Tools dialog box contains a theme button Theme button.  To use, first highlight or activate the theme that you are interested in and then press the Theme button. This will open the metadata for the selected theme.  The Movies, 3D,... button will allow you to browse through animation, images, and perspective image files that are relevant to the project.

Documentation and Movies tool

Some features are hidden from view but may be accessed by turning on the Advanced Interface. The Advanced Interface is basically the default ArcView tools along with several new Global GIS tools. To turn on the Advanced Interface, toggle the check box in Global GIS Tools dialog box.

Advanced Interface tool

If you would like to remove a feature from the Examine Features report, the Delete Global GIS Theme button can be used Delete Global GIS Theme button. To add a theme back into the report, use the Add Global GIS Theme button Add Global GIS Theme button. Note: this will add the theme back at the bottom of the report. To restore the theme to its original location, use the Reset Defaults button described below.

To reset the search radius and the drill down themes, use the Reset Defaults button Reset Defaults button. This will reload the defaults that were defined when the project was started.

While this tool was being designed, a few others were also added. Please see the Buttons Help Page for more information.

More on the Global GIS interface

U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey | Astrogeology Research Program
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