Monday, August 14, 2017

GIS Internship: Week 3

Hard to believe this past Friday was already 3 weeks into my internship. 

I now have access to the County's ArcGIS Enterprise account and their shared drives.  I started working on the layout and design of the Story Map using layers, shapefiles, and pictures I found in a folder with information regarding the Englewood CRA.

During the second half of the day, I sat in on a discussion with staff planners regarding an incoming pre-application for a major residential development.

GIS Internship: Week 2

On week two of my internship (Friday, August 4), I gathered information about the Englewood CRA and worked with one of the planners who was on the initial planning team for the project. She offered some insight and background to the CRA and contacts for me to gather more information from. The second half of the day, I spent meeting with County GIS Department staff (housed with the IT Department). I worked with one of the GIS techs on georeferencing development site plans over county aerials. The Planning and Development Service departments uses this maps to monitor development in the area.

GIS Internship: Week 1

I began my internship Friday, July 28, with the Planning & Development Services department of Sarasota County Government. I will be working closely with the department's GIS Specialist\Demographer while touching on other subjects within the department as well. My main task at this point is to create a Story Map on the Englewood CRA that will be featured on the County's website once completed.

The Englewood CRA was established on March 31, 1998, by the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners after accepting the “Findings of Necessity” that determined areas of Englewood were appropriate for rehabilitation, conservation or redevelopment. The Board further directed staff to work with the Englewood residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to prepare a Redevelopment Plan. The Board acted on May 26, 1998 to establish itself as the Sarasota County Redevelopment Agency and at the same time appointed a seven member board to serve as the Englewood CRA Advisory Board. On December 14, 1999, the Englewood Redevelopment Plan was adopted by resolution and a Redevelopment Trust Fund was established by Ordinance No. 99-085. The establishment of the trust fund allowed for the appropriation of tax increment financing (TIF) funds to be used in undertaking and carrying out the community redevelopment plan. The base year for the TIF was established as 1999. The TIF provides for the Ad Valorem taxes collected within the CRA area, above the 1999 base tax value, to remain in Englewood and to be dedicated for projects identified in the Redevelopment Plan.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Final Project: Location Analysis

Home Location Analysis for Dr. and Mrs. Johnson: Final Presentation

My final was based on Dr. and Mr. Johnson and their search for a new home in Sarasota, FL. The Johnson's were moving from Suffolk County, NY to escape the cold winters in sunny Sarasota. They read an article on that ranked Sarasota #21 out of 100 best places to live and knew this was the right choice for them. Dr. Johnson obtained a position at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute which was ranked one of the 50 best heart hospitals in the nation. Mrs. Johnson wishes to pursue a BFA in Interior Design from the Ringling College of Art & Design after they relocate. The couple have two children, ages 10 and 13. They have provided me with a list of criteria to base their home search. The following criteria were used to conduct my analysis in finding them the best areas to narrow their home search: 
  • proximity to Sarasota Memorial Hospital
  • proximity to Ringling College of Art & Design
  • an area with a higher percentage of people ages 40 - 49
  • an area with single-family homes valued $500,000 - $750,000
  • an area districted to A-rated public schools or where A-rated charter schools options are available.
My analysis was conducted using Euclidean Distance to determine the proximity of the hospital and the college to the county census tracts. I calculated the percent population of people ages 40 - 49 each census tracts and reclassified into a raster. I isolated the home parcels valued $500,000 - $750,000, then isolated public and charter schools into A-rated schools.

 I then performed a Weighted Analysis using the Weighted Overlay tool to determine three suggested home search locations for the Johnsons. The first map was run using equal weights on each criteria. The second map was based on the most desired criteria, giving the proximity to the hospital more weight over the other criteria. The three suggested census tracts in the Weighted Influence map are the three areas I have concluded where Dr. and Mrs. Johnson should focus their home search.

After I started this project and handed in my proposal it hit me that trying to find areas with higher percentages of people ages 40 – 49 would be difficult. Sarasota County is noted as an area of retirees with the median age at 53.1 as of 2015. In hindsight, I would have chosen a different criteria to analyze as part of the project. Another shortfall was not having an aerial image from the County’s GIS website. Their site was being updated during the time I was working on this project and some layers were not accessible at that time. Otherwise, I am satisfied with my results. I was able to narrow down three census tracts that would suit the couple’s needs. After discussing this project with a local realtor friend of mine, he was impressed by this type of location analysis and is interested in my performing a similar analysis for one of his clients.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mod 11: Sharing Tools

Our final assignment has arrived for GIS Programming. We were to update a tool and script in a toolbox and share with others. The script would be able to create 50 random points in or along the boundary feature and then create 10000 meter buffers around the new points. The first modification I needed to make was within the script itself. The script uses the sys.argv[] expression rather than the arcpy.GetParameter() expression used in the previous assignment. Variables for the output file location and input boundary feature needed to be updated to this sys.argv[] expression in order for the script to run successfully.

Dialog Explanations were then added to each syntax section of the parameters. These explanations make the tool more user friendly. The script was then embedded into the tool and a password was set to protect it. It is now ready to be shared with others. 

Tool Dialog Window
Results from Buffer Tool

With this being our final assignment for this course, here are some takeaways I shared in my Process Summary.

  • The most memorable thing I learned in using Python in ArcGIS was in Module 3: Python Fundamentals Part 2. We were to edit a pre-written script to perform a dice rolling game. I had issues with generating the correct code to remove all instances of the unlucky number.
  • Geoprocessing in Python was interesting to learn. Being able to automate geoprocessing tools like the Buffer Analysis and Dissolve tools is simplified by using the tools in one script.
  • Creating custom tools is a useful skill. I work closely with our local county government to provide us with shapefiles of our school boundaries, school location sites, school sign locations, etc. Their GIS Specialist uses a Python script tool to update these files regularly and then shares the layers with us in a zip file. I hope to create my own tools to share with others.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mod 10: Creating Custom Tools

In this week's lab assignment we were to create a script tool using an existing script. This tool could then be used in ArcMap and shared with others. 

The first step was to examine the existing script in PythonWin, update the comments, rename it, and run it to ensure it's functionality. A custom toolbox was then created in ArcMap to which a new script tool was added. Using the Add Script wizard, the new script tool was given a new name, a description was added, the "Store relative path names" option was checked, and the existing script was added to the tool. The tool was then run to make sure it works.

The next step was to add parameters for the tool. Four parameters were added and the appropriate properties were set. The below screenshot shows the resulting script tool dialog window.

Next, the parameters were set in the script but editing the script to replace all specific filepaths or file names with the corresponding parameter in the tool by using the arcpy.GetParameter() function.  The tool was then opened and run in ArcMap adding the specified features to the parameters. An error message was received. To fix this problem, an str() function was used on the outputFolder variable in the script. Print messages within the script were replaced with AddMessage() statements. The tool was then run again successfully as seen in the below screenshot.

To complete this assignment, the final toolbox file (containing the script tool) and the script file were compressed into a zip folder so that others can use them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mod 9: Working with Rasters

This week we learned how to write scripts using the Spatial Analyst extension to create a raster output. For this assignment, we were to write a script that would create a raster output that identifies areas with a particular set of parameters (slope, aspect, and land cover type). The output will be a single raster image that highlights areas with the following specifications:

  • Forest landcover (classifications 41, 42, and 43)
  • Slope between 5-20°
  • Aspect between 150-270°
Below are screenshots of my final output raster from my script and a flowchart of steps it took to create the script.