Below are some problems and solutions that you may encounter in the ArcMap environment as you analyze your data and compile your report. The below won't solve all your problems, but it might help with some. Give me feedback on the below and I will adapt it so others can benefit. Don't forget to use your other resources if the the above doesn't help.


File management:

Remember you are going to generate a lot of different files - all part of your ArcMap project. Create a folder and put them all in there. Also remember to back your project folder up, perhaps at the end of every work session. Also, after saving your project, or exporting data, check your filder to see what types of new files have been created.


Creating your dbf:


Positioning the background air photos:

Background info: Raster data refers to images, which are basically a bunch of color values for each pixel that together make an image. You can download these from sites on the web. I have downloaded several USGS air photos that should be useful for your specific projects. They are available on one of the disks in the lab. If you have georeferenced jpeg or other image file you want to include as a layer the computer has to somehow know what the geographic location of each pixel is. This information is contained in an accompanying world file, and these can often be downloaded from the web along with the image. This is simply a text file containing the UTM coordinates of the upper left corner, and the pixel scale distance. In order for ArcMAP to recognize and use these they must have the a ".jgw" suffix (e.g. sample.jpeg and sample.jgw. If you have both the jpeg image file and the world file in your folder the following should work.

Source of USGS georeferenced airphotos.

Steps to get your image 'positioned' in ArcMap:


Getting the right suffix on your world file - steps to take:


Importing x, y data:

This is how you you get your dbf file information into ArcMap so that you can play with it. In the ArcMap (data view window) under Tools, select Add x,y data. Navigate to your dbf file and select that. In the x coordinate and y coordinate window latitude and longitude will likely show up automatically. If not navigate to the column heading which has the appropriate x and y values. Then reassure the program its OK, and your data should show up in the Layers window to the left.


Zooming in on your data

For some reason if you try to zoom in on just portion of your dbf data it will likely disappear. I have no idea of why. Perhaps the programmers keep saying - "we should really fix this" - but never got around to it. Anyway you need to "export" your data so that ArcMap can work with it at any scale.

Here are the steps in order to do so:

  • right click on the listed layer.
  • select Data.
  • select Export Data.
  • enter yes to the question if whether you want to add the exported data to the list of layers.
  • rename the new layer.
  • turn off the original dbf generated layer so as to not get confused.
  • now you can work with the export data file at any scale.

  • Plotting strike and dip symbols for your faults and veins.

    Here are the steps: