Managing Geospatial Data Using ArcGIS

Nicolas MalloyAuthor: Nicolas R. Malloy


The goal of the activity for students to learn how to manage geospatial data using Esri ArcGIS software. In a previous exercise, you downloaded several geospatial datasets from the Humboldt County GIS Data download page. The files included four shapefiles representing roads, fire hydrants, the Humboldt County boundary, and election precincts.

For this tutorial, you will need to have ArcGIS Desktop installed on the computer from which you are working. If you are a registered student at Humboldt State University, ArcGIS Desktop is installed in the HSU Library as well as in several computer labs on campus including, NR 203, FOR 203, FOR 204A, SCIA 364, and FH 106.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this tutorial should be able to:

  • Describe best file management practices for transferring geospatial data
  • Compare workflows for geospatial data in Microsoft Windows File Explorer and Esri ArcGIS
  • Examine data using ArcGIS software
  • Identify the main features of the ArcMap user interface
  • Locate and add additional toolbars in ArcMap
  • Practice looking up properties for both a data frame and a shapefile in ArcMap
  • Apply direct selections to map features in a data frame
  • Demonstrate the relationship between the map in the data frame and records in the attribute table
  • Repair data sources in ArcMap