The examples below from my coursework highlight the different topics and skills acquired through the MGIST program, including site suitability analyses, LIDAR data and point cloud analyses, and use of hydrological data.
The course provided foundations in methods and algorithms used in GIS analysis and modeling. The course included analysis from lidar data, 3D visualization, coastal change assessment, and principles of open source GIS. Other topics included terrain modeling, geomorphometry, watershed analysis and introductory GIS-based modeling of landscape process (water, sediment)
Convert CSV Weather Data into Raster Data and perform geospatial analysis
The objective of the research project is to measure and visualize the amount of changes in vegetation and terrain in North Carolina coast. In the project, the vegetation is viewed and measured in both 2D and 3D. Using the LIDAR point cloud data and aerial photography collected, the vegetation is measured and viewed in 2D and the changes are viewed using 3D models, which help to better visualize the changes in vegetation height in addition to the spread of vegetation on a horizontal plane. The spatial extent of the study is limited to an area of approximately 1 to 10 square kilometer. The location of the project is the Jockey’s Ridge State Park near Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The max and min rasters are generated to determine the change in vegetation for the temporal range of 1974 to 2008 and 2001 to 2008 through core and envelope surfaces. The range rasters are used to view the change in the position of the Jockey’s Ridge sand dunes over a specific period of time. The changes in terrain are viewed by utilizing cutting planes (Figure 1) and creating 3D models (Figure 2). Utilizing 3D models provides a means for efficient incorporation of LIDAR measurements with data from more traditional sources using map algebra, areas of vegetation are selected and the changes in area are measured between 2001 and 2008.
The project research study supports the fact that Jockey’s Ridge State Park has seen terrain change due to moving dunes and increase in vegetation due to natural and man-made causes. The change in vegetation was 9.5% increase in vegetation between 2001 and 2008. The density of LIDAR data and factors such as flight elevation during data collection influence the accuracy of the results.
Figure 1: Cutting planes shows the range between the maximum and minimum values between the 2001 and 2008
Figure 2: 3D Visualization of how dune shifted between 2001 and 2008
The course introduced the use of GIS for surface water modeling including stream and watershed delineations, regulatory wetlands jurisdiction determinations, and flood mapping. Arc Hydro tools and several open source software packages were utilized, including TauDEM.
STREAM NETWORK AND WATERSHED DELINEATION
In this project, the stream network and watershed delineation of the study area is modeled based on DEM using ArcHydro and TauDEM methods. The raster analysis is performed to generate data on flow direction, flow accumulation, stream definition, stream segmentation, and watershed delineation. These data are then used to develop a vector representation of catchments and drainage lines from selected points. The utility of ArcHydro tools is used to develop attributes that can be useful in hydrologic modeling. The watershed area results obtained after delineation by the two methods are compared. In conclusion, the watershed area obtained from ArcHydro method was slightly higher than the area obtained from TauDEM method.
Watershed delineation is one of the most commonly performed activities in hydrologic analyses. DEMs provide good terrain representation from which watersheds can be derived automatically using GIS technology. The stream network and watershed of Black Creek in Cary, NC was delineated using ArcHydro (Figure 1) and TauDEM (Figure 2). The result of watershed area obtained by the two methods was compared and was found that the area obtained from ArcHydro is slightly higher than TauDEM. There are many factors that might influence the accuracy of watershed modeling with Arc Hydro and TauDEM including algorithm used and flow accumulation.
The entire GIS 520 course portfolio can be viewed here
The course focused on advanced techniques in geospatial analysis. Outcomes of the course included the retrieval and integration of data in various formats, selecting and performing the appropriate geospatial functions, and describing and executing decision making objectives. All coursework was completed using ArcMap and ArcCatalog.
The goal of this analysis was to determine the degree of suitability of land for black bear habitats in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park using Model Builder. To determine habitat suitability for the black bear, data representing individual habitat criteria and various ArcGIS Spatial Analyst tools were needed. First, road, stream, trail, and vegetation shapefiles were converted to raster surfaces. The elevation data, then, was used to derive slope values across the study area. The five raster files were then reclassified to a common value scale, indicating suitable and unsuitable conditions. A weighted overlay tool combined all factors to determine areas of greatest suitability. Using Model Builder, each analysis was incorporated into a single, repeatable model. The output was a suitability surface to identify potential black bear habitats as shown in Fig 1 (click to enlarge).
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