Join Adam Wilbert for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing data from online providers, part of ArcGIS Essential Training.
- One of the coolest additions to ArcMap that happened at Version 10, was the inclusion of hosted basemaps. These maps are available to you through the Add Data button. But you must have an active internet connection in order to use them. Esri hosts several different styles of maps that can be used to quickly add additional information and context to your own data, without having to track down or manage the data files on your own. You simply connect to the service, and add the imagery or layers that you want. In order to get to these, you're going to go over here to the Add Data button. But instead of pressing this portion of the button here, you're going to push on the downward pointing arrow to the right.
From there, you can choose Add Basemap. The Add Basemap window opens, and it shows a small gallery of all the different basemaps available from Esri. We have basemaps that include just areal imagery, or imagery and labels. We have some street maps and topographic maps. We also have some background maps. For instance, this Light Gray Canvas, or Terrain with Labels work really well as background data. We have a map from the National Geographic. We also have some ocean data. And we even include a map from OpenStreetMap. We can choose any of these basemaps to add them into our document. And we saw several of these in the last chapter.
For now, let's just choose the Ocean space map. And we'll add that into our map document. I'll just select it, and press Add. You'll see the little globe icon appear down here in the bottom right-hand corner to indicate that the map files are downloading. And now, once it loads, we can see that we have some imagery representing the bathymetry of the oceans. Over here in our Table of Contents, we can see that we have some new layers. For instance, I've got this basemap Ocean/World basemap here and then I've got this new Reference layer here that includes the labels. I can turn either of these off, if I'd like. For instance, if I choose to turn off the reference layer here, we should see the labels disappear in just a moment.
If they don't disappear on their own, you might have to click on the Refresh button down here in the bottom. So that's the Reference layer, let me turn that back on. We can also turn off the Basemap, and just keep the reference information, which is the labels right here. In addition to the hosted basemaps, we can also get access to a whole host of information from ArcGIS Online. These are data files that other users have saved up to the service. To do that, I'll go back to that drop down arrow, and choose Add Data from ArcGIS Online. This opens up a new window for ArcGIS Online where we can search for data files, we might be interested in. Right here on the Home screen, I can choose to add USA Counties, or I can add some Critical Habitat information, and so on.
And you see, you can scroll down through this list to see others sources of data. Let's keep with our hurricane theme here, and look for information about Hurricane Sandy. I'm going to type in "Sandy" up here in the search box and press Enter. And after a moment, it searches, and I can see some information that other users have uploaded about Hurricane Sandy. For instance, this one here says, "Sandy<u>Impact</u>Analysis" I can click on Details to find out some information about where this map came from. I can see any comments that might have been made on it, and the Properties, such as its Extent, and when it was created. If I like this data source, I can go ahead and press Add here to add it into my map.
And after a moment it updates. And we can see I have a new layer over here. Let's go ahead and right click on this layer and choose Zoom To Layer. That'll fill my view extent with the data of this layer. And here we can see the Impact study of Hurricane Sandy. If I expand this open, we can see what the various colors mean. Let's go ahead and press the Full Extent button to zoom back out. Now we're not just limited to importing data from the sources that are available right here inside of ArcMap. Lots of government agencies provide their own servers that are serving up ArcGIS data that we can pull from. For instance, if I go out to the web and find a website called mapservices.nps.gov, this will give me access to the ArcGIS server for the National Parks Service.
Go ahead and click on this link here and that brings me to the server. You can see it's a rest server by the URL here. What I can do is highlight this URL, and copy it to my clipboard, just right click and select Copy, and then go back into ArcMap. In the Catalog window, I'm going to scroll to the bottom and choose GIS Servers here. And then I'm going to choose to "Add A New ArcGIS Server". I'll double click on it to run the tool. And it asks, "What do I want to do?" Well, I want to use a GIS Service. So I'm going to choose that option, and choose Next. It asks me for the server URL, which I'll highlight, right click and paste in the URL to mapservices.nps.gov/arcgis/rest, and I'll go ahead and say Finish.
After a moment, that server gets connected and it will appear over here in my Catalog window. And if I scroll down, we can see it appears here. Now that I've connected to the mapservices.nps.gov server, I can see what's there. I can expand this open. And we see that I can pull in some information about Wildland Fire Events. Let's go ahead and add that to my map. I'll click and drag and drop it on the top of my layer stack here. Finally, I'll right click on it, and I'll say Zoom To Layer. We can expand it, to see what the various symbology means. And, if it looks like it's not loading, once again, you might just have to press this Refresh button down here in the bottom, to refresh the data source.
And there we go. Now I've got some information straight from the National Parks Service about Wildland Fires in the United States. So most government entities in the United States provide public domain data that they generate as part of their mission. Often, this is done through some sort of web portal. So if you can find the portal, you can download and use their data. Another great resource is the Geography or Environmental Studies departments of universities in the area. Often they too will collect and disseminate data for their students as well as the general public. Now if your study area is outside of the United States, then data collection might be more difficult, as some countries treat data as a protected resource.
And other countries don't collect much data at all. In those cases, making use of the global data sets that Esri provides through their online basemaps and data, can be an extremely valuable resource. Just make sure that you check and comply with the terms and use that accompany each of the data sources.
- Getting to know the ArcMap interface
- Geocoding addresses
- Measuring distances
- Adding and importing data
- Labeling and adding graphs
- Editing layer properties
- Seeing multiple views
- Making selections
- Exploring geospatial data with ArcCatalog
- Working with vector and raster data
- Styling the map
- Adding your own data
- Using the ModelBuilder
- Adding a legend and annotations