Introduction to Arcview
- Click on the Start icon on the taskbar. Go to Programs and point to
- Point to Arcview GIS 3.2. When the sub-menu comes up, point to the
name again. In the menu that pops up, click on Arcview GIS 3.2.
- A dialog box will appear. Click on the radio button which says "open
an existing project". Click OK.
- The Open Project dialog box is divided into 2 screens. To
the right, doublic-click on the arcview folder. To the left the file
name qstart.apr will appear. Double click on that. (.apr is the
extension for an arcview project)
- In the qstart.apr window, the Views icon should be highlighted. If
not, do so. Double click on the word "world" located in the right
side of the screen.
Before we go on, some of the basic components of Arcview need to be
Going back to Arcview:
- Table of Contents:
- In Arcview, the screen is divided into two parts: the pictorial part
and to its left, a listing of various items. This listing is the Table of
- The Legend is located in the table of contents where there may
be a theme highlighted. The legend is the listing of the feature(s) in a
- In Arcview, a theme is a set of geographic features of the
same type along with their attributes. Examples are: rivers or lakes. A
rivers theme would contain the map of the rivers and a table
attached to it which would contain relevant information such as the names,
locations and lengths of the rivers.
- Look at the monitor. Notice the inner window titled
"world". This world window is a view, A view is an
interactive map that lets you display, explore, query and analyze
Views rely on underlying attribute tables(data tables). If the
underlying table changes, the view will change. Actually a view
is a collection of themes. Notice that the world view contains
the themes rivers, lakes, countries, etc. (These themes may or
may not be visible depending on whether they are turned on or off
and whether one theme may be drawn on top of another).
- A project contains, among other documents not covered here, a
collection of views. These views can have common themes or all themes
might be distinct. The project window is not currently visible.
Note: In GIS, themes are layered on top of each other. If one of
them can not be seen under the other, the order in which the themes appear
in the table of contents on the left side of the view can be changed.
- A world map will be on the right side of the screen with various
themes turned on. The Left side of the map is
the table of contents for all themes in that
view. These themes are turned on by checking the
box to the left of the
theme names. If both the Projected population and Life Expectancy themes
are turned on, only one of them will be visible.
Activate the Projected population theme by clicking on its name or its
legend in the table of contents(not the checkbox to the left of the
name). The theme will be raised when activated.
Moving themes around
Click and drag the Projected population theme below the Life Expectancy
theme and release the mouse button. Now the Life Expectancy theme will be
visible when turned on.
Turning themes on and off
Each theme has a checkbox to the left of its name in the table of
contents. By checking it, the theme is turned on. If the box already has
a check in it, the theme can be turned off by clicking on the box
again. Turn on the Life Expectancy theme(if its not already on).
Introduction to the interface
The menu bars and the tool buttons that you see are all part of the
Arcview interface which enables us to easily use the services that Arcview
offers. Right now you see the themes which are part of one
view. The menu bar is at the very top of the
image you see. It has the words: File, Edit, View, Theme etc. If you
click on any one of these words, you will get a pull down menu with other
selections. Below the menu bar are the tool bars. The tool bars
directly under the menu bar contain tool buttons. The tool button directly
under the File menu is the tool to save a project.
The use of each button can be determined by doing the following:
Note: From now on, if the word button is mentioned, it is assumed
that tool button is meant.
- For this brief exercise, do not click any mouse button.
- Go to the tool button directly under the File menu. Point and hold the
mouse arrow directly on the tool button. A yellow label should come up
with the words: Save Project. A slightly longer description appears at the
bottom of Arcview. Hold the mouse directly on any button and its
description should appear as a yellow label.
The menu bar and tool bar change for the different components of the
project. For example, what you see now are the tools for the view
component of the project. If you change the component to Layout or Tables,
the menu and tool bars will change.
Themes and Tables
- Click on the Identify button. It's the first button under the disk
button. Activate the life expectancy theme. The
theme will be activated when the theme is raised above
the rest of the themes. (To enable multiple activations, keep the
Shift key down while clicking on the themes to be activated.) Click on any
country. A table titled
Identify Results should appear. In that table, various attributes of that
particular feature will appear. When clicking on the country feature, the
name, type of feature(line, point, polygon), area, perimeter and other
attributes will appear in the table. If multiple themes are
activated, attributes of both themes will appear in the same
table. Close the identify result table.
- Click on the button titled Open Theme Table.
This presents the attributes of all the features of the activated
theme. Examine the various attitudes by scrolling to the right. Close the
table by clicking on the X at the upper right hand corner of the
- Click on the button titled Select Feature and click on a
country. (Multiple selections can also be done by holding down the shift
key and clicking on more than one country.) You will know which features
are selected because the features will be highlighted in yellow. If the
features to be selected are adjacent to each other, click and drag the
select tool around the features. A square will be drawn along the
features as long as you hold down the mouse button.
- Open the activated theme table again, by using the open theme button,
and click on the button titled
Promote. This will bring all the records of the selected features to the
top of the table.
- Click on the button titled Switch Selection. This switches the
selections of all records which were previously unselected with the ones
that were. Notice the change in the view window. Click it again and the
previously selected records are back.
- To clear all selected features, exit out of the table and click on the
button titled Clear Selected Features.
- Click on any theme's legend to activate it. Make sure the theme
is turned on. Click on the buttom with a magnifying glass and a plus
sign. It is on the second row of tool buttons and is the Zoom
in button. Click on it. Click and drag the mouse on any part of the right
side of the screen. The selection made by the mouse will be zoomed in to
the center of the view. The Zoom Out button (right next to the Zoom in
button)does the opposite.
- The following tools are in the first row of buttons.
- Click on the button titled Zoom to Full Extent. This button
zooms out to show all themes in a view. Activate a
theme and click on the button Zoom to Active Theme. This zooms to
the currently active theme.
- Using the Select Feature button, select a feature. Then click on the
button titled Zoom to Selected. This zooms to only the selected
- There are 2 buttons next to the Zoom to Selected button which
have the same function as the Zoom in buttons, but always zoom in
and out on the center of the view.
- The Pan tool is used to move the view on the right side of the
screen. Click on the button with the hand. Go to the world map, click and
hold down the button. Move the mouse anywhere and release the button.The
- The button next to the Pan tool is the Measure tool. It can be used to
measure actual distances between two features. Click on the measure
tool. Click on any area of the
world map. Point the mouse to another location on the map and double click to stop. The distance between the two
points will be reported at the bar at the bottom of the Arcview
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