GIS = Geographic Information System
“A geographic information system (GIS) lets us visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends. GIS benefits organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry. There is a growing interest in and awareness of the economic and strategic value of GIS.”
What is GIS?
ArcGIS Online (AGOL)
AGOL is the online web mapping portal and set of tools through the Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI), the company that makes the industry standard GIS software. AGOL allows users to created and analyze GIS data and maps WITHOUT software installation of any kind! Accessible to PC and Mac. Chrome is a recommended browser, and wifi access is essential. Create a temporary account today to begin making and exploring AGOL maps OR log in with an existing Organization Account.
Adding Layers to an AGOL Map
Search for Hawaii Layers
The Hawaii State GIS out of the State Office of Planning hosts excellent GIS Data Layers available to the public. To access, type in owner:HawaiiStateGIS (case sensitive) the select FIND IN: ArcGIS Online, and all of their layers will be listed. CLICK on ADD to those of interest. (See example in image TO LEFT)
Search for EXISTING PUBLIC AGOL MAPS
This can be a wonderful shortcut! In the upper right hand corner BY YOUR NAME (see mine in the image BELOW) within AGOL, search for Hawaii, for example. Any maps that appear will be public, and this means you can “SAVE AS” and make your own! Data layers within the map will remain and you can reduce time on searching for and adding Layers! Try searching for ahupuaa. IMPORTANT: Once the search is conducted, the following screen appears, and YOU MUST UNCHECK “only search in XXXX” in lower left, or nothing may come up.
Adding MY OWN Data to an AGOL Map
There are several options for this, the easiest of which is by Adding Map Notes as a Layer. See that option in the link above. If you have just a few points of data, this is a great way to go! (See example in image TO RIGHT)
Complete List of Types of Data that Can be Added to AGOL
https://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/share-maps/supported-items.htm Note that CSV files (spreadsheets), KML files, and shape files are on this list! These are often what you can download from Citizen Science Apps or from a GPS unit used in the field! For instance, Project Noah allows downloading of CSV or KML format files for a “Mission” and Marine Debris Tracker allows CSV download.
Logging in to AGOL – Organization Account Required
Learning Endeavors workshop participants (teachers) have been provided with a log in for training purposes, however, it is highly recommended that schools set up their own account once the workshop and follow up activities come to a close by contacting ESRI Education Department.