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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
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Building an ArcView 3.x Project

After completing the Getting to Know ArcView Tutorial, you should be ready to begin making a new project. The tutorial does not cover a few important points, so they will be covered here. The file extension for your project will be Ď.apr Ď. This project file manages data sources and stores any customization you add such as legends, layouts and charts.

Steps to Build a Project

1.Create a folder.† If you're working in Branner, make it in your name on either the E or G drive (ex: G:\Chris).

2.Copy all data for your project into that folder.† Your project will be better organized and more portable if you store all its data beneath one central project folder.† ArcView only uses absolute pathnames (not relative), so this way all the data paths will match.

3.After you open a new project, open a new view and go to File>Set Working Directory.Make this your new folder (ex: G:\Chris).When saving any new data you create, you will then automatically be prompted to store it in your folder.

4.If you plan to work with GRIDs (ex: Digital Elevation Models), you will need to turn on the Spatial Analysis extension by placing a checkmark next to it under the menu File>Extensions.It is a good idea to look at this menu and get an idea of the extensions available.If you donít think that ArcView can do something, it may be possible with an extension.

5.You may now begin adding data.The ESRI software manuals available for borrowing and for use at the GIS workstations can be very helpful as you encounter challenges with your project.Remember, GIS always takes longer than you think, so allow plenty of time.

6. It may be helpful to make your own log file and keep track of changes as you make them; unfortunately ArcView does not do this for you.

7. Be sure to maintain a backup copy of your .apr file!

Good Luck!

Last modified: June 24, 2005

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