Last mod: Nov 4 05



1) Set up a working directory including folders for airphoto images and the EXCEL masterfile, and copy (provided) the masterfile template.

2) Load ARC MAP, create a new document, and assign the correct map projection to the data frame.

3) Add the airphotos to the ARC MAP document ( see: The orthophotos can be downloaded as MrSid files and added directly to an ArcGIS document without any need to georeference).

4) Georegister the airphotos if they are unregistered JPG's.

5) Setup grid and scale variables, and make hard copies of the airphotos.

6) Collect field data.

7) Load and set preferences in ExpertGPS, and download waypoints from the Garmin GPS unit to ExpertGPS.

8) Save the data as an archived .loc file, and export it to EXCEL as a .csv file.

9) Run EXCEL and load the .csv file and the EXCEL masterfile. Add 'traverse' and 'geologist' fields to the .csv file, and run an Excel macro to reorganize the fields (columns). Save as a 'stati.dbf' file for import into ARGIS9, and copy the .csv records into the EXCEL master folder.

10) Add structural (strike, dip, plunge, younging), lithological, chemical, etc, data to the EXCEL master folder, and run an EXCEL macro to create and output structural ('struc.dbf') and lithological ('lith.dbf') files.

11) Add the EXCEL 'stati.dbf' station data file to the ARC MAP document, and create 'outcrop number' labels for the data points.

12) Add the 'struc.dbf' structural data to the ARC MAP document.

13) Setup the Symbiology and Labels to be used in plotting oriented symbols for the various structural 'features' (bedding, foliation, dikes, younging).

14) Setup the shape files and layers to be used in drawing geological boundaries and creating lithologic polygons.

15) On the general 'line' layer draw in the lines representing geologic boundaries.

16) Create polygons from the lines (see - ET Geo Wizards).

17) Copy the polygons sets representing lithology onto the relevant layer.

Acronyms: DC = double click (Layer Properties); RC = right click; TB = Toolbar; TOC = Table of contents.



Create a folder 'arcfolders' and a subfolder (e.g. 05wrc) for the project.

Within '05wrc' create a sub folder 'airphotos' for the airphoto images, and an EXCEL folder 'Excel' to archive the Excel folders (.loc, .csv) generated by ExpertGPS.

Copy the EXCEL master folder template to the EXCEL folder.



Optionally change the name of the data frame from 'Layers' to a recognizable name such 'Layers05wrc'.

DC the Layer icon in the TOC to get the 'Data Frame Properties'. Click the tab 'Coordinate System' -> Predefined -> 'Projected Coordinate systems' to set the coordinate system. Click APPLY and OK.

Click the ADD icon, select the name of the aerial photo to be loaded (e.g. Clarabelle, and click ADD (or drag and drop the airphoto shapefile from the ARCGIS CATALOG).

If the image is a geotiff or MrSid, the image will already be georeferenced, and nothing further needs to be done. If the image is a JPG image then use the Georeference tool bar to georeference and rectify the image as follows:

Click the 'View Link Table" icon to load the Link Table. Click the 'Add Control Points' icon and click twice (do not double click) to add a control point to the table. Repeat to add a second control point. Enter manually (can also cut and paste) the UTM XMap and YMap coordinates of the image, and then click OK. In the 'Georeferencing' drop-down list select 'Rectify', and once rectified save the image as 'rectifyClarabelle'. ADD 'rectifyClarabelle' to the TOC, and remove the original jpg image 'Clarabelle'. Repeat for any other images.


DC 'Layers' in the TOC to get the DATA FRAME PROPERTIES. Click the GRIDS tab -> New Grid -> Measured Grid and follow the instructions to set up the grid..

In DATA FRAME PROPERTIES select 'Data Frame' and in 'Extent' change 'Automatic' to 'Fixed Scale', adding a value of 1: 10000.

Click the Layout View icon to enter Layout View. The image can be moved within the limits of the 11 x 8.5 inch page by using the PAN tool.





Load ExpertGPS (START -> PROGRAMS -> EXPERTGPS), and in FILE -> Preferences set the parameters for the download, e.g. Brunton or Garmin Etrex ; input port as COM1 or COM2; the path to the folder containing the data, e.g c:\arcfolders\05wrc\excel. Units of measure, e.g. Metres; Coordinates, e.g. Decimal degrees, WGS84 datum; making sure to check the 'Use UTM coordinates' box.

Connect the COM1 serial cable to the Brunton/Garmin. (If using a Belkin RS232 to USB converter, the Belkin unit must be attached and the Belkin drivers loaded before turning on the computer.)

Turn on the Brunton (do not turn off the GPS function) OR Garmin. (When downloading from the Brunton, both the Brunton and the GPS function must be ON; if the first attempt to download fails, try a second time.)

In ExpertGPS click the receive 'Waypoints from GPS' icon; check the Waypoints box; click OK. The data will be downloaded from the Brunton to EXPERTGPS. Save the data as a .loc file in c:\arcfolders\05wrc\excel.


Export the data from ExpertGPS (File -> Export -> Save As -> Enter) as a .csv file, e.g. 05wrcstati.csv, to 'c:\arcfolders\05wrc\excel'.

Double click 05wrcstati.csv to load it into Excel.

In column 14 add a Traverse ('Travnum') field with the value, e.g. 3090127 (3 = year, 09 = month, 01 = student [a number will be assigned to you], 27 = day) entered into all the cells, and in column 15 add a 'Geologist' field with the numerical value that has been assigned to you, e.g. '1', in all rows. Save the file.

The columns and cell values can now be manipulated into a form suitable for import into Fieldlog by running an EXCEL macro that will carry out the manipulation.





Load into EXCEL the file personal.xls in the uwo'yourinitials' directory (alternatively, and preferably, put a copy of the file personal.xls in the directory c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\XLStart).

Run the macro by selecting TOOLS -> Macro -> Macros -> Personal.XLS!Garmin (or Brunton). The macro is contained in the 'personal.xls' file.

The macro will create a STATION field numeric value in which each value will have the form, e.g. 309012701, where 3 = the year 2003, 09 the month, 01 = the geologist, 27 = the day, and 01 = the order in which the stations (outcrops) were collected on that day.

Cut and Paste the modified data set into the STATI Table section (1st Table) of the master file. This will provide you with an EXCEL record of your data set that you can subsequently upgrade with information from your field notes as needed.


In the master file the data is organized as a set of fields (columns) grouped into a set of Tables. The Table and Field order is:

STATI: Statnum, UTMX, UTMY, UTMZ, Long, Lat, Elevation, Statype, Travnum, Geologist, Airphoto, Outcrop, Sketch/Photo, Comment, and UTM Zone. (The Elevation field is not used in this exercise.)

STRUCTURE: Statnum, UTMX, UTMY, STRUCFEATURE, Azimuth, Dip, Top direction

TRAVERSE: Statnum, NTS Map, Field dates, Summary

LITHOLOGY: Statnum, Rock #, Rock Type, Metals, Weathered colour, Fresh Colour, Describe, Comments



In the 05wrcstati.csv file do a Format -> Column -> Autofit on the columns and make sure there is data in the first record of the Azimuth column of the Structure folder and that all the records in any given column are of the same type. Save the stati file as, e.g. '05wrcstati.dbf'.


Load ARC Map and the relevant document, and in 'Tools' -> 'Add X Y data' and in 'Add XY data' browse and select '05wrcstati.dbf'. Specify the X and Y coordinates, and indicate the coordinate system to be used by clicking the Edit button -> Select -> Pojected Coordinate systems -> UTM - NAD83 17. Click ADD and then Apply and OK. '05wrcstati Events' will appear in the TOC. RC '05 wrcstati Events' and select DATA -> Export data. Export the new shape file as '05wrcstati2.dbf'. The '05wrcstati Events' can then be removed (RC '05wrcstati Events' and click 'Remove'.)

To add an 'Outcrop number' as a label, DC '05wrcstati2.dbf to get the 'Layer Properties'. Select 'Labels' -> check the 'Label features in this layer box -> select 'Label all the features the same way' as the 'Method' -> select OUTCROPNUM as the 'Text String Label Field' (OR STATNUM for the full station identifier). In the Placement Properties option box select low for 'Label Weight' and check 'Place overlapping labels'. Click APPLY and then OK if the plot is satisfactory.


Double click 'Layers' to get the 'Layer Properties', and enter '0' as the value in 'Reference scale'. The plotted symbols will now remain the same size no matter the scale of the image. The symbol size will be that set in the 'Symbol Selector' (click the relevant symbol in the TOC to get to the 'Symbol Selector'). Now RC the image (not the symbols) and then 'Reference Scale' -> 'Set Reference Scale'. The reference scale will be set to the current scale of the image. Now as you change the scale of the image, the size of the symbols changes; zoom in and the symbols will get larger. To revert to the original size of the symbols, RC the image and press the 'S' key twice.



Add your structural data to the EXCEL master file and run the Macro structure to convert the data to a 'struc.dbf' file.

Tools -> 'Add X Y data' and in 'Add XY data' browse and select '05wrcstr.dbf'. Specify the X and Y coordinates, and indicate the coordinate system to be used by clicking the Edit button -> Select -> Pojected Coordinate systems -> UTM - NAD83 17. Click ADD and then Apply and OK. '05wrcstr Events' will appear in the TOC. RC '05 wrcstr Events' and select DATA -> Export data. Export the new shape file as '05wrcbedding.dbf'. Repeat to create .dbf files for '05wrcfoliation', and '05wrctrap_dikes', or any other structural feature in the '05wrcstr.dbf' file. The '05wrcstati Events' can then be removed (RC '05wrcstati Events' and click 'Remove'.)


The various structural layers can be grouped as a 'Structure Layers' Group by right clicking 'Layers' in the TOC and selecting 'New Group Layer'. Click and drag the layers into the Group layer. Now turning off the Group Layer will turn off all the structure layers even if they are turned on individually.


DC '05wrcbedding' to get 'Layer Properties'. Select Symbiology -> Categories -> Unique values.

In the values field select STRUCFEATU and add the value 'subed' to the box. Uncheck the <all other symbols> box. Double click the symbol that appears to the left of 'subed' to get to the Symbol Selector. Click 'More Symbols' and click Geology 24K. Select the symbol to represent bedding and in the options box select size and colour and make sure the angle is set to 270. Click OK.

In 'Layer Properties' click 'Advanced' -> rotation -> check the Geographic radio button, and in 'Rotate Points by angle...' select AZIMUTH. Click APPLY. Click OK and OK.


In 'Layer Properties' select Labels. Check the 'Label features in this layer' box. In 'Method' select 'Define classes of features and label each class differently'. In 'Class' select 'Get Symbol classes' to have the class value 'subed' entered as the class, and check 'Label features in this class. Enter 'DIP' as the Label Feld, and in the Placement Properties option box select low for 'Label Weight' and check 'Place overlapping labels'.

Repeat for '05wrcfoliation', and '05wrctrap_dikes'.

The placement of the labels and their priority can be set in the Label Manager - RC Layers -> Labeling -> Lable Manager, etc.


RC 'Layers' and 'Add a New Group'. Call it 'Lines'. Click the ArcCatalog icon in the Toolbar (icon to the left of the red 'Arc Toolbox' icon. Click File -> New -> Shapefile. Give the Shapefile a name,select the feature type as 'Polyline', and set the coordinate system.( If you intend to use the ET Geowizards function to convert intersecting polylines to polygons you must set the Coordinate system in all shapefiles to be added to ArcMap (ET Geowizards will not assume that the shapefile has the coordinate reference of the Data Frame.) It is convenient therefore to place the current coordinate project file in the Coordinate Systems folder in \Program Files\ArcGIS - when creating your first or any shapefile (Catalog -> File -> New -> Shapefile) and when adding the 'Spatial Reference', save the selected coordinate system to C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Coordinate Systems. When adding another shape file the 'Spatial Reference' can then be easily retrieved with the Select button.)

Click OK. The new shapefile will appear in the shapefile list in the catalog. Click and drag the shapefile into the 'Lines' group in the TOC.



With the Lines layer as the active layer draw your lines (boundaries) using the drawing tool on the Editor toolbar (Editor -> Start Editing ....). Save Edits and Stop Editing.

Create an 'allpolygons' and an e.g. 'granite' shape file and add to Arc Map.

Use the ET Geowizards ( - ET Geo Wizards) function to convert intersecting polylines to polygons.

Create a new shape file in CATALOG and add to the document as a new layer. With the 'allpolygons' layer active, start the Editor and in 'Task' select 'Create New Feature' and in 'Target' select the newly created shape file. Click the polygon (or 'Select by Polygon') to be copied to the relevant layer (use Shift select to choose several polygons). RC and select Copy. RC and Paste. Save Edits and Stop Editing. A copy of the selected polygon(s) will now appear in the new shape file.

Note: 1) the attributes of the original polygon will not be copied with the polygon; 2) when in Edit mode the id fields of the lines and polygons can be manually edited; 3) when selecting a polygon by attributes use the format e.g. "SHORT_NAME" = 'AS'; 4) fields can be added to the attribute table of a shape file by going to Properties of the shape file -> Fields -> add a new field name (this can only be done after exiting any documents which contain references to the shape file).


I have a .DWG file composed of layers representing geologic units hand-copied as polygons on OGS map 2491 of the Sudbury region. Each rock unit polygon has been placed on its own layer, with a separate layer for the vector 'hatch fill'.

There are also layers for faults, oriented bedding and structural symbols; bedding trends, rock unit boundaries, and younging directions; vector geographic entities such as reference coodinate points, coordinate grids, roads, railways, lakes, etc.; raster images such as airphotos, landsat images, and photographs; and text such as location names.

Problem: to transfer the individual layers in Autocad to individual layers in ArcGIS9.


Freeze all the layers in Autocad except the layer for the e.g. Stobie polygon.

1) File -> Export -> 'File name' for the .DXF file e.g. map1 -> 'Save as type' 'Autocad R14 DXF' -> Save. All the layers will be saved in the .DXF file (c. 10 Mb) but the file will record that only one layer is turned on.

2) File -> Export -> 'File name' for the .DXF file e.g. stobie -> 'Save as type' 'Autocad R14 DXF' -> Options -> check 'Select objects' -> OK -> Save -> select the objects to save (all or window the objects). Only the one layer (c. 35 kb) will be saved.

Load ArcMap and then ArcCatalog.

In the relevant directory of Arc Catalog, two 'map1' and two 'stobie' files/folders will be listed.

The files represented by an uncoloured single document icon, contain in both cases the Stobie polygon (CAD drawing) without a coloured fill. If the folders are added as layers to ArcMap the layers will be titled map1.dxf and stobie.dxf. In the 'Drawing Layers' in the Properties of the map1.dxf layer are listed all the layers in the original .DWG drawing, whereas in the case of the stobie.dxf layer only the original stobie layer is listed.

The folders represented by a blue coloured muti-document icon (CAD Feature Dataset), contain lower level files referenced as annotated, multipatch, point, polygon and polyline folders. Adding the polyline and polygon data files to the TOC creates layers titled 'map1.dxf polyline' ('stobie.dxf, polyline') and 'map1.dxf polygon' ('stobie.dxf, polygon'), respectively. The former displays only the outline of the polygon whereas the latter displays both the polygon outline and its fill.

In all cases the layer data will not be georeferenced. In order to georeference the layers they will have to be exported as shapefiles using the option 'Use the same Coordinate system as the Data Frame' (will need to set the coordinate system of the Data Frame).

If the map1.dxf and stobie.dxf files are erased, the map1.dxf and stobie.dxf folders will also be erased, implying that the files and folders are not independant data entries.

To conserve disk space, the best best option would seem be to export individual layers from Autocad as filtered ('select the objects to save' option) DXF files. Add the polygon file to ArcMap and resave to a new shapefile, e.g. stobiepolcoord. Clear all files except the latter.


When you are in layout view and want to draw graphics on a data frame so they display with your data, it is not necessary to switch to data view first. Instead, click the Select Elements tool on the Draw toolbar and double-click the data frame. This gives the data frame focus. Now when you draw graphics on the data frame, they'll be added to the data frame instead of to the map layout. Once you've finished, click outside the data frame with the Select Elements tool to unfocus the data frame. Graphics you add to a focused data frame in layout view will also show up in data view. However, any graphics you draw in layout view that are not being added to a focused data frame, only appear in layout view.

To add a Legend, North arrow, or scale bar, when in Layout mode, click insert -> North Arrow

Note from Deborah Lemkow of the GSC: "Regarding projections. Getting a projection through the data > export data option is not always the best way to go, as it isn't that accurate. For the students it is probably fine. However, if you were working as a consultant and doing mapping at 1:50 or more detailed, I wouldn't use it. Especially if you were dealing with discrete interfingering layers. Most of the people using GIS aren't as passionate about projection inconsistencies as maybe we are here at the GSC. The whole issue has really come to light now that the satelites can give us such great accuracy through the gps."

Using GPS with ARCGIS9

RC Tools and select GPS to display the GPS toolbar. (Connect Belkin RS232 to USB converter before turning on the computer.) Click GPS Connection setup and set the com port (Use 'detect GPS Port" to determine port being used). Make sure the datums correspond on the computer and the GPS unit.

Exporting a part of the image

The data in an ArcGIS World File has the form:








15 = [X-Scaling; meters]

0 = [Rotation]

0 = [Translation]

-15 = [Y-Scaling; meters]

328848.5 = [UTM Easting of 1,1]

4888582.5 = [UTM Northing of 1,1]

Correct plotting of the image also requires that the Tiff image have embedded as a Tag the information, e.g.

10 S (UTM) = [UTM Grid Zone or Coordinate System PCS Number]

NAD27 CONUS =[Datum]

The exported image will be whatever can be seen on the screen at the time of export.

To Export, click File -> Export Map -> the General tab at the bottom of the Export dialog box.

Optionally, to add georeferencing information, check the Write World File box. This option is only available when you export while in data view and will create an additional file called a World File that contains information that is used in conjunction with the exported raster file to tell software where the image is located in the world. The file will have the same name as the image file and a file extension that is based on the first and last letters of the image's file extension plus the letter "w". (For example, if you create a TIFF image called "MyMap.tif, the world file will be called "MyMap.tfw".) The datum information will be retained in the Tiff file tag, and not in the World File.

At this stage you can also change the resolution of the exported map from the default value of 96 dpi.

Optionally, the TIFF file format has the ability to store georeferencing information internally. This is called a GeoTIFF. To create a GeoTIFF, click the Save as type dropdown arrow and click TIFF, click the Options arrow to expand the options, then click the Format tab and check the Write GeoTIFF Tags box. These options are only available when you export while in data view.