Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Other GIS Endeavors

Hello everyone!

Hope that everyone is having a good week thus far! It's crazy to think that my wedding is only 10 days away close!!

Anyways, I just wanted to update you all on how things are going around here. The transformer pad inspections project is almost completed! I'm just waiting on word to train the inspectors and go out with them on inspections for a few days until they get used to using the IPad and the Collector application for the inspections.

For research purposes, I have looked into other products that offer similar capabilities such as AmigoCloud however I found that it was tricky to use and did not have the functionality to allow a user to only edit pre-existing points nor could I figure out how to get the related table to appear. I consulted with my manager and she said not to worry about looking more into AmigoCloud because it did not appear that it would serve our needs like Collector does.

Since I have been waiting to train the inspectors, I have been working on other GIS tasks and projects in the meantime. I have updated their map that deals with the transformers to reflect the new changes. I have also been working with one of my coworkers, the System Engineer, on editing a map document that will be displayed in his office. I was given a large map that he had printed and was going to hang on the wall. Once my manager and I realized that he was going to hang the map for all to see, we knew that I had to help him since he does not know GIS. He works with it very sparingly.

So I took this map containing all of the information on the town's Overhead and Underground Circuit Distribution (wires, circuits, reclosers, capacitors, switches, poles, manholes) and information about the layout of the town (roads, parcels, wetlands, bodies of water). Coming from a GIS and cartographic stand point, having this much information on one map is A LOT. The map that I was given had symbols that were way too big and had labels that you could not even read. I tried to get rid of some of the items like the wetlands, but my coworker insisted that everything stay. He just wanted it all to be readable. So I went through every single street, recloser, capacitor, manhole, 4x4 manhole, and handhole to re-label each and every one. They were all labeled but the labels were not showing up because of their size and position. I converted all of the labels to annotation and went through each label one by one making sure that you could see it and that it was where it was supposed to be. This definitely was a time consuming process and there may have been an easier way to go about things, maybe a python script? But I still am not comfortable with using arcpy mapping as I am afraid I will somehow mess the whole system up! But going through each label one by one needed a lot of patience and ended up being somewhat soothing. I remember when I first took a GIS course, I did not have any patience and I despised the program. However after much hard work, dedication, and learning that I had a knack for perfection, geographical analysis, and mapping, I discovered that I found my niche.

In the end, what I created from the map that I was given was a large map containing all of the information that my coworker requested all at a readable scale and I added the necessary map elements such as the tile, legend, north arrow, scale bar, and data credits. I added in a NAED logo for good measure too.

My coworker just printed the map to hang on his wall and for some reason it looks like one of the reclosers and one of the capacitors were selected and the map ended up exporting and printing them with a blue dot in the middle. Strange as I have never seen that before! But since it's such a minor detail he still hung the map on the wall (I did make sure that there were no more mistakes before exporting it to pdf for a final time).

It's always nice to change things up for a while and get back to the basics of GIS, which is cartography. I had a nice few days of just focused work on the map. Now I'll be on to the next project...making solar maps! I'll keep you updated.

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