The initial idea for this project was to create an interactive map of our field trip, displaying the route and all of the destinations and activities of the trip, and allowing some user interaction with the features. This goal was modified to the creation of a map of the route and major stops, attractions and destinations, and animation of the features in a chronological sequence according to the day of the trip in which they occurred for display on the class webpage. This animated map is intended to provide some context for the viewers of the webpage for the basis of the investigation and research conducted by the other class groups aimed at arriving at a conclusion as to whether or not the Northwoods constitutes and should be identified as a distinct region of the Midwest. Our question was considered in the context of concepts and methodologies of previous research in regional geography presented by Zelinsky, Shortridge and Paasi. This project ultimately consists of three products: the field trip map created in ArcGIS and finished in Adobe Illustrator, the map and all features converted and exported as .KMZ files for display in Google Earth, and the animated version of the map created using ArcGIS Animation toolbar and exported as a video file (.avi and .mov extensions). These products illustrate our examination of a region extending from the northern parts of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, and parts of Quebec, Canada, showing towns and features that exhibit certain characteristics that may serve as criteria for delineation of the Northwoods as a unique geographical region, and leave the viewer with an impression of this region.
- ESRI North America map projections accessed on the UW - Eau Claire W drive.
- GPS points collected on the trip.
- Elevation data (DEM) downloaded from the USGS National Seamless Map Server.
Programs and Tools Used:
- Selection tool used to select out highway, lake, and land base data which was exported as shapefiles and included in the construction of a geodatabase for the map in ArcCatalog as feature classes.
- Editor toolbar used to create the route and add points for the destinations for which GPS points were not collected.
- Animation toolbar used to create map layer group animation.
Group Animation Workflow:
- Click the Add Data button in ArcMap to add the layers or group layer that you want to animate.
- This type of animation depends on the ordering of the layers in the Table of Contents. Arrange layers in the order in which they will be played.
- Adjust all labeling and symbology of the layers in the Table of Contents before creating animation (For example, select Label Features, specifying which field in the Attribute Table to be labeled in order for labels to appear in animation).
- Click View on the Main menu, point to toolbars, and click Animation. Select Create Group Animation from the Animation toolbar drop-down list.
- The Create Group Animation Window appears providing Group Layer selection, Begin/End time, Layer Visibility and Transition options. Since each feature was arranged separately in the Table of Contents the animation was created from Top-level layers rather than multiple group layers. All boxes under Layer visibility were left unchecked so that most layers would remain displayed for the duration. The Fading transition slider was set at about half-way with so that each layer would fade in separately. The Blend layers when fading box was unchecked because most layers remain visible while the next fades in. Each layer becomes a separate track.
- Open Animation Manager from within the Animation toolbar drop-down list.
- Tabs for Keyframes, Tracks and Time View are displayed. The Keyframes tab shows the number and type of keyframes present for each track. Begin/End Fade In/Out Map Layer keyframes were created for each track based on the transition settings. The times for these keyframes to be played were adjusted. The state, lake and elevation layers were set to appear together and remain 50 percent transparent, the route layer was set to appear, then fade out completely, and the End Fade Out time for every other layer was set to 1.0 to remain visible for the duration after fading in.
- Click the Animation Controls button on the Animation toolbar to display playback options.
- Options were selected to play By Duration of 60 seconds, Play Once Forward, and Restore state after playing.
- Select Export to Video from Animation toolbar drop-down menu.
- Choose output filepath, name and type ( .avi or .mov), click Export.
- Accepting default settings for video compression results in a video export process that takes up to 20 minutes and final filesize of over 1 GB, however adjusting these settings leads to exporting and playback problems.
- Convert Map to .KMZ Workflow.
- Click ArcToolbox button in main toolbar in ArcGIS.
- Expand 3D Analyst Tools. Expand Conversion option. Expand To KML option. Select Map to KML tool.
- Choose Map Document, Data Frame Output File, and Map Output Scale.
- Data Frame will be Layers from Table of Contents. Map Output Scale will be the scale at which all layers are visible. Layers that are not visible at the export scale will not be included in the created KML file.
- Select Convert Vector to Raster under Data Content Properties to convert each vector layer in the map into a separate selectable feature in the KML output rather than a single composite image.
- Adobe Illustrator
- Map exported from ArcMap as a .ai file.
- Features added in Illustrator: Text, Titles, Locator map, and Citation of data sources.
A quick look at the map below (Figure 1) shows that our first-hand investigation of our region of interest conformed tightly to the perimeter of Lake Superior, and from the sixty seconds of animation it is clear that the majority of the featured destinations of our trip are concentrated within Northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This could reflect some bias on the part of the trip planners, but it may also be an indication of a deliberate, informed selection of places and features of special relevance to our efforts of regional identification and possible delineation. As with the methodology of Zelinsky’s determination of North American vernacular regions, the relative frequency of certain names and terms appearing the landscape may suggest the territorial extent and psychological intensity of an overlying vernacular region (Zelinsky, 1980). For example, one indication of the character of the region is the frequency of Native American place names. Of the nearly forty features included in the map, seven have Native American, specifically Ojibwa, names or references, such as Tomahawk, Manitowish Waters, Keweenaw, Wawa, Agawa, and Chippewa Falls, twice. French heritage is also prevalent, with place names such as Eau Claire, Montreal, L’Anse, Sault Ste. Marie, Grand Portage, and Grand Marais, twice. This combination of French and Native American/First Nations is a characteristic not necessarily unique to our study area, but it is a legacy which can be used to begin to envision the extent ofa region of a particular interaction in a particular period, specifically the history of the Fur Trade in the area. The extent of the fur trade was as widespread as Alaska and California, but Grand Portage was the main terminal that opened the door for westward expansion. This aspect of industry can be seen as another identifying feature of the region, the impact of which is still evident in the landscape and in place names such as Ironwood, Copper Peak, and Copper Harbor. This trait taken in conjunction with the ethno-cultural interaction further limits and defines the region.
This is the final trip map constructed in ArcMap and Adobe Illustrator. It features the route divided into days indicated by alternating blue and red lines, and the primary destinations of our trip, cities, towns and various attractions, indicated by blue points, with larger red points indicating the terminal of each day. Points were included for Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Merrill, Tomahawk, Manitowish Waters (end Day 1), Mercer, Hurley and Montreal, WI; Ironwood, Copper Peak, Black River Harbor, Houghton (end Day 3), Calumet Snow Meter, Keweenaw West Bluff, Copper Harbor, Mt. Bohemia, Gay, L’Anse, Camping Spot (end Day 3), Da Tourist Trap, Munising, Stump Field, Au Sable Dunes, Grand Marais (end Day 3), Newbury, spodosol sample, Oswald’s Bear Ranch, Whitefish Point and Sault Ste. Marie, MI (end Day 5); Sudbury, Big Nickel (end Day 6), Chippewa Falls, Lake Superior Provincial Park (end Day 7), Agawa Provincial Park, Wawa, Ouimet Canyon, and Thunder Bay, ON (end day 8); Grand Portage, Grand Marais, and Duluth, MN (end Day 9); Superior, Chippewa Falls, and back to Eau Claire, WI (end Day 10), occurring in the period of Sept 25. – Oct. 4, 2009.
Not only are regions and places constantly changing as according to Shortridge’s study of the Middle West as region (Shortridge, 1984), so are the concepts of region and place changing, as well as the meanings of the terms region and place (Paasi, 2002). It is possible that modern communications technologies are in part responsible for the acceleration of changes in the landscape insofar as improved and more rapid communication and dissemination of information has the ability to affect people’s conceptualizations of personal, as well as regional identities, which in turn has the potential to shape those identities and spaces. It may be possible to arrive at an objective, qualitative delineation of a region such as the Northwoods based upon analysis of established criteria, as some of our class groups have attempted to do. However, my experience with this region has shown me that the region exists in a more subjective form, in the perceptions and character of the people who live there. By creating a map , and attempting to illustrate an experience, and by presenting it in a media format that is quick and accessible, it may be possible that a greater number of people will share a common subjective experience leading a shared and perception of a region, further solidifying, but also affecting and changing the character of the region. As Zelinsky points out, it is important to specify the particular levels of interest within the hierarchy of vernacular regions, and to devise the means to collect meaningful reliable information however, the “ideal modus operandi is prolonged immersion in the areas in question and supplementing personal observation and interviews with whatever documents are pertinent” (Zelinsky, 1980). Part of Shortridge’s method was to seek the origins, extent and initial identifying features of the Middle West region in literature. Our field trip investigation hopefully provides a basis for further study.
Animation in ArcMap Tutorial. Retrieved from: http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=Animation_in_ArcMap_Tutorial
Progress in Human Geography 26,6 (2002) pp. 802–811
The Emergence of "Middle West" as an American Regional Label Author(s): James R. Shortridge Source: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 74, No. 2 (Jun., 1984), pp. 209-220
North America's Vernacular Regions Author(s): Wilbur Zelinsky Source: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 1- 16