Edit Cities with ArcGIS 89 - Modifying RIDGE Display Map Backgrounds

By Debra Peterson,2014-05-07 21:01
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Edit Cities with ArcGIS 89 - Modifying RIDGE Display Map Backgrounds

Modifying the Cities Shapefile for AWIPS using ArcGIS 8/9.x

    Ira Graffman OST/SEC

    16 May, 2006

This document contains instructions on how to edit the city shapefiles used in many of

    AWIPS applications and for RIDGE radar displays. If you need to add, delete or modify

    a city’s location, this document will help you perform this task. It is a step-by-step tutorial aimed at ArcGIS 8/9.x ArcMap users. Experienced users can choose which

    section contains information in which there is detail on unfamiliar procedures

Contents of the Cities shapefile

In the past, the text file, citiesInfo.txt was used for cities information for D2D and LSR.

    Another shapefile was used for GFE. In order to make an easy transition into a single

    shapefile for all applications, field names that are used by applications in builds OB6 and

    earlier have been retained. Better, more descriptive field names were selected to be

    used in future builds. Thus, the cities shapefile has some duplicate field names a legacy name and a new name.

    Field Name Description Old or

    New Field St_fips Two digit state FIPS Code Old Sfips Two digit state FIPS Code New County_fip Three digit county FIPS code Old Cfips Three digit county FIPS code New Id Unique identifier * New Name City Name N/A Lon Longitude of city N/A Lat Latitude of city N/A Pop_1990 City’s population Old Population City’s population New St State abbreviation N/A State Full state name N/A Warngenlev blank, 1, 2, 3, 01, 02. A leading 0 means the location New

    is a city/county hybrid. 1 means major city, 2 means

    average warning location, and 3 means wide spot in the


    warngentyp blank (point location), New

    + (area weighted centroid), = (user supplied centroid), and

    ~ (centroid is point furthest from boundary)

    Watch_warn Original value of warngenlev and warngentype Old


    Z_watch_war Unused Prog_disc Progressive disclosure value

    Zprog_disc Unused Elevation Elevation of city in comboflag city/county combination flag New Land_water Unused at this time New Recnum Unused at this time New Ridge Denotes if city used for RIDGE displays New

    Yes = used for ridge and AWIPS, No = used for AWIPS

    only, Only = used for RIDGE only

Each city has its own unique identifier. This field was added to aid in distinguishing

    cities with the same state having the same name and to link the city with an urban area (if


Overview of editing city shapefiles

There are three editing functions that will need to be performed to edit the city shapefile.

    A city may need to be added, a city may need to be removed, or a cities location or other

    attribute may need to change. It is recommended that the shapefile be subset by WFO

    for easier editing and emailing. Once a site finished editing the subset shapefile, the

    shapefile is to be sent to NWSHQ to be integrated into the national version of the

    shapefile. Only those cities within the CWA boundaries of the submitting WFO will be

    put into the national version.

You may find that having a background of counties, forecast zones or other data might be

    useful in determining what the radar display might look like and aid you in editing the

    data. A source of NWS-centric data is the AWIPS Map Database Catalog (AMDC)

    located at Download the zip file(s) and unzip. Then

    add the shapefile to your map as in the instructions to follow.

For data that cannot be found in the AWIPS shapefiles, the Geographic Names

    Information System (GNIS) is useful for city data. Click on

    “Query GNIS” and fill out the name of the city and the state and search. By clicking on

    the feature name in the returned list, you will be able to retrieve the latitude and longitude

    coordinates of the city in decimal, the required format for the shapefiles.

Starting ArcMap

    Start ArcMap via shortcut or start menu.

    If you get the “Start Using ArcMap with” window, click OK to start a new session or

    double click a saved project (an .mxd file)

If you are given a screen for adding data when opening a new session, click to the

    location of the city shapefile and add it using the “Add Data” dialog.

    ArcMap allows the user to add many different “toolbars” to the user interface. The “Standard” and “Editor” toolbars are required for the cities editing tasks. If you do not

    see the Add layer button, use the View-?Toolbars? menu and make sure “Standard” is selected. In addition, if you can’t find the Editor Toolbar as pictured below, add the

    “Editor” toolbar from the View-?Toolbars? menu.

Figure 1 - Standard Toolbar with Add Layer and select button

     Add Layer Select

Figure 2 - Editor Toolbar

To add a shapefile to the map, click the “Add Layer” button. You will get a Windows

    standard file add dialog. Find the cities shapefile and select it. You may also want to add

    state/and or county shapefiles as background maps to assist you.

Figure 3 - Add Data Window

Sub setting a cities shapefile

In order to subset a cities shapefile, the CWA boundary shapefile is required. If this

    shapefile is not already on your system, download a zipped copy from the AMDC at Unzip the file and add the

    shapefile using the “Add Layer” button.

Select the CWA using the select tool (see Figure 1) or by following the instructions in the

    Finding a City or CWA section at the end of this document.

Use the Selection?Select by location menu item. In the window, as in the example

    below, choose “Select Features From” and be sure the cities shapefile is checked. Make

    sure that “intersect” is selected and the CWA Layer is selected. Finally, make sure “Use

    Selected Features” is highlighted and click “Apply”. Then “Close” the window.

You should see the cities within the CWA highlighted. Finally, right click the cities layer

    and in the pop-up menu select “Data?Export data.

Choose a name and location for the new shapefile and click ok. Answer yes to adding the

    shapefile to the map as a layer.

To eliminate confusion, remove the full cities layer by doing a right click on it and

    selecting “Remove”.

Figure 4 - Select by Location menu

Figure 5 - ArcMap Screen with Selected cities

Adding cities to the shapefile.

    1. Start editing with the Editor?Start editing menu item

    Editor menu

    Figure 4 - Sketch Tool

    2. Click the sketch tool. Right click the tool somewhere near where the city belongs.

    Don’t try to be exact – a pop up window appears select “absolute x, y”. In the

    resulting window, put in the exact longitude and latitude of the point. Press the

    “Enter” key to save the edit and add the city.

    Figure 5 - Screen after city has been added

3. Edit the city attributes by right clicking on the city layer in the Table of contents

    and choosing “Open Attribute Table”. 4. If your city is not highlighted in the opened table, click the “Selected” button to

    see the city. Click on the empty cell on the highlighted row in the “City” column.

    Add the city name and use the “tab” key to move from column to column to add

    or modify the attributes.

Figure 6 - ArcMap Attribute Table

    5. Repeat steps 1-3 until you are finished adding cities. When finished editing, use

    the Editor?Stop Editing menu item. Make sure you save your edits.

C. TO EDIT CITIES ATTRIBUTES (to make changes to a city name or site id)

    1. Open the table as in Step 3 above and start editing.

    2. Find the city to be edited using a method described in Section F.

    3. Make the edits to the record in the table

    4. Stop editing and save.


    1. Find the city from the map or via methods in section F. If you use the table

    method to find the city, go back to the map and find the city via right click the

    city layer?Selection?”Zoom to Selected Features”

    2. Start Editing with “Editor?Start Editing”

    3. Click the Edit tool. Be sure that the task is set to “Modify Feature”.

     Task set to “Modify Feature”

    Figure 7 - Edit Tool

    4. Move the cursor over the city. When it changes shape, right click and select

    “Move to”. Enter the latitude and longitude.

    5. Open the table and manually edit the latitude and longitude.

    6. Stop editing and save edits when finished.


    1. Start editing.

    2. Find the city using a method described in Section F.

    3. Get back to the map. layer?Selection?”Zoom to Selected Features

    4. Hit the delete key

    5. Make sure you stop editing and save

Finding a City or CWA

    You can just find the feature on the screen or in a table, or you can search for it using the

    Query Tool. In order to make the selection process easier, make the city layer the

    selectable layer. In ArcMap 8.x and 9.0 use the menu Selection?”Set Selectable

    Layers” and choose the layer. In ArcMap 9.1, right click the layer -

    layer?”Selections?”Make this the Only Selectable Layer”. You can access the Query tool via the Selection?”Select by Attributes” menu or choose “Select by Attributes” by

    clicking the “Options” button while the attribute table is open.

    To find a feature by name, double click [city] or [cwa] in the left window. Click “Get Unique Values” and unique names will appear in the right Unique Values window.

    Now click the equals sign (=) and scroll and double click the feature name or type it in

    (use single quotes if you type it in). Click Apply to select your feature.

Figure 8 - Select by Attributes Window

G. Visualization Aide

    In order to assist you in editing cities, it is possible to configure the ArcGIS screen to

    be of the approximate size as the radar image. Click in the “Scale” window on the Standard toolbar and enter the string “1:3,352,925” followed by the Enter key. You will

    probably want to have an additional background map to assist you.

Figure 9 - Scale Window

Editing roads or rivers shapefiles

A. Adding Roads or Rivers

    When you need to add roads or rivers, probably the easiest way to do this is to take the

    feature to be added from an existing data set (primary data source) and put them into the proper shapefile. Two good potential data sources are given below. Another option is to

    manually draw the new feature.

Data sources one source of data is the US National Atlas at Click the “Mapping professionals” link and then the

    “Raw data” link. Roads will be under “Transportation” and Rivers under “Water”.

Another potential source is DOC Census TIGER data available at Click on the state for which you want data. You can select a county then the roads and/or rivers OR you can select

    roads or rivers and the counties you want. Roads are under “Line Features – Roads” and

    rivers under “Line Features – Hydrography”.

Once the data source is found and the data layer is added to ArcMap you can search for

    the feature(s) that you want via the Query Builder, the table or via the map on the view.

    Regardless, be sure that the target is set to the layer you want to edit after doing the start

    edit command.

There are two ways to accomplish the task of getting the feature(s) you want into the


Figure 10 - Target window

Option 1: From a primary data source

    1. Find/Select the feature in the primary data source shapefile in the same manner as

    finding cities.

    2. Start editing the RIDGE shapefile (Editor?”Start Editing”).

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