Mapping Store Locations in ArcGIS

Workshop #1: Mapping Store Locations in ArcGIS


This workshop involves a simple mapping activity in which you will create a map of big box home improvement stores in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Only two chains are included: 37 Home Depot store locations and 14 Lowes stores. Adding all of their large Canadian competitors, RONA and Home Hardware Building Centres, would clutter the map too much for the purposes of this simple exercise. In addition to the store locations, you will be adding a layer with all of the roads in the GTA and a layer showing the boundaries of the 26 municipalities in the GTA. You will change the projection, choose appropriate symbols for the stores, insert a legend, add the scale, a border (aka “neatline”), a north arrow and appropriate text – a title, legend title, projection, data source, author, and date.

The store data have been compiled from company websites by the Department of Geography, Ryerson University.

A.   Getting Started

  • Log into the remote desktop using your username and password.
  • In lab instructions I use >for click, >dc for double click and >rc for right click
  • The data for this workshop is stored on the course website in D2L – under Content à Labs à Workshop 1. It is a RAR file called Workshop_1_Data – this means it will have to be extracted/unzipped before we can use it.
  • To begin, download the Workshop_1_Data.rar file to the desktop > rc it and extract the files. In the dialogue box that pops up, you will have to chose where you save the files to, as you will need to find them in a few moments.
  • Throughout this workshop, you may see references to ‘your workspace’ à this means the folder that you saved all your data to when you downloaded it from D2L.
  • Start the ArcGIS programme: Start >Program >ArcGIS >ArcMap or >dc the ArcMap icon in the Start menu.

B.   Creating a data view

B1. Adding Data

>File >Add Data or use the Add Data icon

  • You will have to find the folder that they were stored in. You may have to create a folder connection by pressing  (see the box in red below). Go through the folders until you find where you saved your extracted data and select it by clicking on it and pressing ok.
  • In the drop-down menu (blue box) you should see you folder – select it. Several files should appear.
  • note the icon/symbol used to identify each file
  • >Shift all 4 files to highlight them >Add

B2. Changing the Projection

Note that the resulting map looks distorted (as if it were stretched and flattened in an east-west direction). This distortion is due to fact that the map has not been properly projected for small areas in this part of the world. Large scale maps of Toronto area are normally, though not always, projected in UTM Zone 17N, NAD 83.

  • To change the projection
  • >View >Data Frame Properties >Coordinate System tab (it may open on this tab by default)
  • >Projected Coordinate Systems >UTM >NAD 1983 >NAD 1983 UTM Zone 17N >OK
  • notice that the map of the GTA has changed its shape

C.   Symbolization for Qualitative Data

The map shows 51 symbols representing the locations of each of the stores on a background showing the roads and municipal boundaries within the GTA. The default colours and symbols should be changed to differentiate the stores and make them more visible against the background of the municipal boundaries. The map is about the location of Home Depot and Lowes stores so the visual focus must be on them, not the background.

C1. Changing the background symbol colour

  • Change the fill colour of the municipalities to make the background a light colour.
  • >the GTA-municipalities symbol under the layer name in the Table of Contents to open the Symbol Selector dialogue box
  • change the Fill Colour, Outline Width and Outline Colour as desired >OK

C2. Changing the store symbols

  • Change the shape, size and colour of each store symbol. Keep in mind that the map is about both chains, so the symbols used should treat them equally. Differences in size and shape make some symbols stand out compared to others suggesting those stores are more important than the competitors. Therefore, the shape and size chosen for each chain should be similar with the colours being the distinguishing feature. (If the map was about Home Depot and its competitors, then it would be OK to make the Home Depot symbols larger or otherwise different than the others, but this map is not about that.)
  • >symbol under the layer name to open the Symbol Selector dialogue box
    • change (in this order) the shape, then colour and then size of the symbol for each store brand
    • note that when the shape is changed, the colour and size change to the default black (or green) and is now 18 point which is both ugly and huge >OK
    • each chain has spent millions of dollars developing identifiable branding, so using their chosen corporate colours makes sense
    • check your map to see that the symbols for all stores can be seen, and if not, change the symbol size

C3. Removing the roads layer

  • The map contains information which adds nothing but unnecessary clutter. There is no need to have the roads visible since the store locations are not referenced by road but by municipality.
    • make the roads layer invisible by >the checkbox besideGTA_roads or >rc the layer name GTA_roads >X Remove to delete the layer entirely

C4. Changing how we represent the municipalities

  • There may be instances where we want to be able to present a little more information contained in some of the layers. First, you need to check to see options available. In the Table of Contents, find the GTA_Municipalities layer >rc >select Open Attribute Table
    • You’ll see that there is a list of all the polygons used to represent the GTA municipalities. Most of the information is not important here, but not FID, CSDNAME, and CSDTYPE. (CSD stand for census subdivision).
    • Click on the CSDTYPE column and it will be highlighted >rc and select Sort Ascending. Because this is text/string data, it will sort the column alphabetically. Also, note how the rest of the table has changed.
    • We can see there are a number of codes listed which describe the type of municipality (C is for city; R is for reserve; T is for town, TP is for township). These might be useful ways to help visualize differences.
    • Close the attribute table >on the Table of Contents rc on GTA_Municipalities >select Properties… >select the Symbology tab. This will give you options on how to present the data. >select Categories and then Unique values. Only one symbol is available. >in the Value Field, select CSDTYPE >click Add All Values.
    • Since we know that all the municipalities fall in one of these four categories, deselect <all other values>. Press OK. Notice how the Table of Contents and the map have changed.
    • One last thing – we know the abbreviations stand for something, so in the Table of Contents click the letter C under the CSDTYPE sub-heading. It will let you change the name of the layer. Change C to Cities, and do the same for the rest of the layers.

D.   Creating a Layout

You have been constructing the map in the Data View. The final, printable map is created in a Layout View where you display the map, add a title, legend, scale, north arrow and necessary cartographic information (your name, date, source of the map data and the map projection), all enclosed by a neatline.

D1. Setting up the Layout Page

  • Open the layout (>View >Layout View) and the map automatically appears within a frame on a full-page view (likely 71% of printed map, depending on the screen size). Since the orientation of the GTA is East-West, the orientation of the printed map should be landscape
    • >File >Page and Print Setup… >Orientation: Landscape >OK
    • while the background page orientation changed, the map needs to be adjusted to fit the printed page
    • >the map to highlight it, then adjust the size by moving the corners to almost fill the space provided
    • all of the components of the map including the neatline (the frame) must be inside the printing edge which is shown as a grey dot margin
    • any element on or outside of that dotted margin will not print
  • The map itself should take up most of the space on the page
    • to make the map larger inside the frame, adjust the Map Scale  (Remember, this is a representative fraction, so the larger the number, the smaller the map. While the map size changes, the frame size does not if you change the map scale setting.)
    • select a rounded scale (e.g., use 1:750 000 rather than 1:746 589)

D2. Adding a Legend

  • The legend is built using the visible layers’ names and symbols, so the layer names should be changed before creating the legend
    • >dc each layer name (e.g., HomeDepot_09) to open the Layer Properties dialogue box >General tab and change the Layer Name from the coded file name to a more appropriate legend item (e.g., Home Depot Stores)
    • >Insert >Legend… >to select the legend items from the list of layers >Next
    • change the Legend Title to an appropriate statement indicating what the legend symbols are about, or delete the title if none is required
    • NOTE: never use Legend as a legend title, despite the default >Next
    • create a legend frame if desired >Next >Next >Finish
    • >on the legend to that a 4-way arrow appears >and drag to move it to an appropriate location
    • to adjust the size and/or placement of the legend frame, >Select Elements tool  >the legend to select it, and adjust by grabbing a corner box

D3. Adding a Scale Bar and Scale Statement

  • >Insert >Scale Bar >to select a style of scale bar
    • Properties buttonto change the units to Kilometres and the label to the Canadian spelling (the default spelling is American usage) >OK >OK
  • >and drag to move it to an appropriate location
  • To create a representative fraction (RF) scale statement (e.g.: 1:750 000)
    • >Insert >Scale Text… >Absolute Scale
    • >and drag to move it to an appropriate location
    • if later you change the map scale, both the scale statement and scale bar will automatically change as well

D4. Adding a North Arrow

  • Most, but not all, maps have North at the top. Nevertheless, the map reader still has to be told this.
  • to add a north arrow >Insert >North Arrow… and select the style you wish
  • >Properties tab and reduce the size(the default and indeed anything more than 50 is likely too large and will visually dominate the map) >OK >OK
  • >and drag to move it to an appropriate location

D5. Adding a Title to the Layout

  • The map title informs the reader what the map is about, the location shown, and when the data were current. A legend title tells what the symbols mean. The map title is the most important text information provided and should have the largest and most prominent font.
    • adjust the font size and style beside the New Text tool (A)
    • all text should be black except for water features
    • >New Text tool (A), place the cursor where you want the title to begin >and type the desired title
    • to change the title (size, structure, placement, wording, etc.) >dc the title with the Select Elements tool and make the changes in the Properties box

D6. Adding a Neatline to the Layout

  • The existing 1-pixel frame can be used as the neatline or changed
  • >View >Data Frame Properties… >Frame tab >Border and select a different frame thickness and style as desired

D7. Adding Additional Type to the Layout

  • A map must include essential cartographic information: the source of data (from p. 1), the projection (from p. 2), who created the map (your name) and when it was created (today’s date). This information is essential, but the least important information on the map. The font size and effects should be small (but still readable) to reflect this.
  • choose an appropriate (small) font size
  • >New Text (A) tool >the area of where you would like the text to be, add the first line of text
  • with the Select Elements tool, >dc the text to open the Properties box where you can type the rest of your text and format it however you wish

Submit the map in the D2L course page for Workshop 1.

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