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Configuring ArcGIS User Interface

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For various reasons, it is necessary to customize ArcGIS user interface. According to the ESRI manual, the principal way to customize the user interface is to use the Customize dialog box. From the customize dialog, one can do the following:

  • Hide and show toolbars.
  • Create a custom toolbar or menu.
  • Change toolbar and menu constituents.
  • Change a command’s appearance.
  • Create and modify shortcut keys.
  1. To hide and show toolbars, click the Customize Mode to open the Customize dialog box. Opening the Customize dialog box puts you in customize mode. In customize mode, simply check or uncheck the toolbar item that you want to load or hide. Once a toolbar is checked, it will appear in the user interface, where it can be placed at any location.
  2. to create a custom toolbar, click on New in the customize dialog and follow the prompt. New buttons or tools can be added to the toolbar by clicking on Commands in the Customize dialog and dragging the relevant icons to the toolbar.
  3. to create a New Menu, open the Customize dialog and click on the Commands tab. Scroll down to “New Menu” and click on this item. Now drag the “New Menu” item that appear in the right panel to where you want the Menu item to be placed. Right click on the new menu item to edit it. The first menu item is the root menu for that group. You can continue dragging new menu item and dropping them onto the main menu item to create the secondary menu items.

Removing Unneeded Menu Items
You can remove unneeded menu items by opening the customize dialog, then right clicking on a menu item and following the prompts to delete the menu item.

Restoring the Default User Interface
The customized user interface can be restored to its original appearance by deleting the Normal.mxt file. To delete Normal.mxt, click to Start | Programs | Accessories | command prompt. When the command prompt opens, type “echo %APPData%”. Now type “cd c:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcMap\Templates”. Type “Dir” to see files in this directory. Now type “Del Normal.mxt” to delete the Normal template. When you restart ArcMap this file will be recreated with the default settings of the software.

Installing a .dll file in ArcMap

1. Open the Customize dialog, then click the “Add from file” button at the bottom of the Customize window.

2. Browse and select the .dll to be installed

3. Click OK in the Added Objects dialog box

4. Click the Commands tab in the Customize window

5. In the Categories (left side) dialog box, scroll down and select the Category header for the installed .dll.

6. Drag and drop the desired command (tool) from the Commands (right side) dialog box to any toolbar

7. Close the Customize window

10. The icon can now be used similar to any other icon on the toolbar


Inserting Google Earth into a Web Page

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In this post, I am demonstrating how easy it is to embed Google Earth into a web page.

1. First, go to Google Map and enter a location that you want to center your map on.

2. Next, click on the Link button to the top left of the map.

3. When the dialog opens, click on “Customise and preview embedded map”.

4. Customize the map to suit your paste. Afterwards, copy and paste the HTML code into your website. The resultant image should appear as shown below.

Determining Bandwith Size for Kernel Density Analysis in GIS

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Determining the search radius for kernel density analysis is highly subjective and GIS users are not always clear on how to go about setting this radius. In my work with this technique, I have come across several ideas on how to set the search radius.

First, some researchers suggest that you should familiarize yourself a priori with the study area, run several kernel densities, then make a bandwidth choice based on the bandwith that yields a surface that is more in accordance with one’s prior (subjective) ideas of clustering in the study area. Obviously, for this method to be effective, you have to get into your subject matter and get a feel for the spatial variations of whatever is being modeled.

A second idea is to create a fishnet and overlay the fishnet on the data points. Next, do a spatial join to get a count of the number of points per grid. This is followed by repeated global Moran’s I tests using different distance bands. This can be accomplished easily in ArcGIS. For each distance band, we note the Z-value at which clustering is statistically significant, and these Z-values are graphed against the distance bands. Distance is placed on the x-axis and z-scores on the y-axis.  The first peak in the Z-scores represents a reasonable distance band for the search radius.

None of these methods remove the subjectivity from kernel density analysis, but they help to justify whatever bandwidth is selected.