Tutorial II: Data Management

This training introduces several useful pieces of analytical GIS functionality with health applications including: geocoding, spatial joins, and essential geoprocessing tasks like clip, buffer, and project. Each module includes a lecture, a hands-on exercise using ArcGIS, and the data needed to complete the exercise. You must have access to ArcGIS Desktop in order to complete this training series.

This training is part of a larger curriculum created as part of the GIS Surveillance for Heart Disease, Stroke, and Other Chronic Diseases in State and Local Health Departments project.

Learn more about the other GIS Training programs.

Module 2.1: Leveraging the Where of Geographic Data

Goals: The goals for this exercise are to gain experience performing spatial joins and selections and to review your understanding of spatial data projections.

Skills: After completing this exercise, you will be able to spatially join a point dataset (businesses of interest) to a polygon dataset (census tracts). This is a useful method for the enumeration of points within polygons: i.e. what is the count for points of interest within geography of interest?

Estimated time to complete: 40 minutes

Module 2.2: Editing Attribute Tables

Goals: The goal of this exercise is to learn how to add fields and manipulate data to better manage the attribute information stored in shapefile dbfs.

Skills: After completing this exercise, you will be able to use the editor toolbar, add fields to tables, and use the Field Calculator to populate fields.

Estimated time to complete: 35 minutes

Module 2.3: Getting Started with Metadata

Goals: The goal for this exercise is to examine metadata as an item description in ArcMap to assess the quality, provenance, and use constraints of a dataset.

Skills: After completing this exercise, you will be familiar with examining and editing metadata.

Estimated Time to Complete: 15 minutes

Module 2.4: Essential Geoprocessing Tasks

Goals: The goal of this exercise is to understand how to use geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS.

Skills: After completing this exercise, you will be able to use the Merge, Project, Dissolve, Clip, and Buffer tools to perform basic geoprocessing tasks in ArcGIS.

Estimated Time to Complete: 45 minutes

Module 2.5: Mapping Point Level Data

Goals: The goals of this exercise are to understand the steps in the geocoding process and to practice performing interactive hand geocoding.

Skills: After completing this exercise, you will be able to successfully geocode addresses in ArcGIS.

Estimated Time to Complete: 40 minutes

Module 2.6: Mapmaking

Goal: To explore common cartographic techniques for mapping multiple layers of data.

About the Authors

This GIS training curriculum was developed by the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.

Children's Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI)

The Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) is a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. CEHI has developed, maintains, and extends an extensive fully spatially referenced data architecture on children’s environmental health. This makes it possible to jointly consider diverse variables collected by different disciplines, creating the opportunity to explore the complex and dynamic relationships among the components of health.