Dale C. Purcell--Journal  [selected items]
Brook Durant is on vacation for the next 2 weeks and Zorba Conlen is going to be my supervisor till Brook gets back on the16th of July.

July 2
The morning was spent getting my paperwork done and oriented to the department and the rest of the building and other GIS sections. In the afternoon I got started making 2 Capital Improvement maps depicting locations of where capital improvement projects are underway. I used ArcView to produce these maps. The map production was interesting in that the department has added an add theme button to ArcView that brings up all of their commonly used themes so they do not have to go searching for them in the directory. This is a nice feature but we did have problems selecting specific items, and then we did have to add certain point features for the presentation. Another great feature that they have on the system is a City Map program that automatically places the view into a formatted layout with all of the needed annotations and logos for the city. One of the things that I had to get used to was that the view on the screen and the view in the display are not the same. The display shows more then what is on the view screen, so I had to keep trying different scales to get the presentation correct.

July 3
Finished the 2 CIP maps from the day before. Then started in on an mid street accident map in ArcInfo. Zorba introduced me to how the AMLs are put together. Spent most of the morning digitizing the locations of the accidents.

July 5
Introduced to Adobe Illustrator. This was great, I found it to be easier than Corel. I used Illustrator to modify maps for the State of Mobility reports and then made them into TIFF format for publication.

July 6
Finished up the modifications to the SOM map series and then made changes to project maps in Illustrator. After finishing with those, started to produce a map of the Bellevue CBD in ArcInfo.  I wrote my first AML by myself & with a couple of minor changes and suggestions from Zorba it ran great.

This has been a great week of learning. I think that I am catching on to this pretty quickly to the way things are done and how things work.

July 9
Updated physical measure inventory maps in ArcInfo. Created a new id to assign digital photos to.  Made assignments to arc features and point features. The photoid numbers will be used as part of an interactive map that is being produced in Mapster. The idea is that when the feature is clicked on the picture of the feature is displayed.

July 10
Created 2 vicinity maps for capital projects group.  Was introduced to ArcInfo 8. This is a really nice idea for GIS. ArcInfo 8 runs more like ArcView using a gui interface rather then command prompts. I still do not know what ArcInfo 7 can do but just looking around 8 looks like it will be a lot easier to do analysis and map productions.

July 11 & 12 & 16
Finally got the vicinity map formula down so it is taking me about 45 minutes to an hour to produce a finished map. The only thing that is slowing me down is not knowing where all of the directories are in the system. Took a more thorough look around Mapster. When this is up and running it will be a great resource for the city. In the afternoon I started on a 24 X 36 map for the planning department that shows the MMA zones, traffic system intersections, and Transit Area Zones (TAZs). This map is to be done in ArcInfo and is proving to be a bigger challenge then Zorba had anticipated for me. The map started out to be just one large map, however it has turned into 2 separate maps with inset maps that show the crowded areas better. Another challenge with the map is because there is so much information that we are trying to show on the map each symbol needs to be distinct so that when you look at the symbol it can be easily identified. So what I am doing with the transit intersections is creating a new symbol using 3 existing symbols and trying to line up each on top of the other. It is suppose to look like this

except it needs to be done in ArcInfo because Illustrator does not do well with big maps and maps that have a lot of detail. With maps of this size it is easier to make changes in ArcInfo then to make changes in both types of formats. Color is another issue that I have to deal with. Because there are so many lines that are crossing over each other against a street background it is tough to make each type of information distinct from each other. Color is the primary way that I am trying to achieve the distinctness of each type of information, the second way is with line thickness.
I also learned that ArcInfo does not like tabs in the AMLs, we spent about 45 minutes trying to figure out why the AML will not run and when Zorba said the only other time an AML acted like this was when it had tabs in it we went back through the AML and pulled the tabs that I used for comment indentations and then it ran fine. I hope to be done with the project on Monday.

July 13
Zorba was not going to work today so I took the day off also. I told him that if he needed me in I will be more then happy to show up but he gave me the option so I took it off.

July 16
Met Brook today.  He is a great guy and I look forward to working with him.  In the morning I did some more work on the Transit Area Zone (TAZ) map. I am wondering if it will ever get done. I learned that if you do not produce a map fast enough the requirements change overnight. The project went from one map with the TAZs, MMAs, and System Intersections on one map to two maps with all the TAZs that they serve on one map and the MMAs, and System Intersections on another. . In the afternoon I updated and edited the coverage to a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) map for the city council meeting next week. I separated the CIP projects from the non-CIP projects in ArcInfo. After redefining the different projects in the arc and point features then redrew the map featuring only the CIP projects. I made an 8.5 X 11 B&W printout that photocopied well.

July 17
Did more work on the TAZ map for the transportation planners. This day went by fast. Because the map has a couple of inset maps in it I spent a lot of time figuring out just how to make them and then place the appropriate map extents in each one. It was not as hard as I thought it was going to be but it was definitely a challenge to include all of the annotation and symbols.  I am very fortunate to have Zorba as a resource-the man is awesome; I have learned so much from him in the past two weeks.

July 18
This morning the GIS group had a meeting and we discussed the upcoming change over to ArcInfo 8.1, some of the people went to an ESRI conference in California and they spoke about their experiences there. The city is getting some new aerial photos in and the GIS group is charged with proofing the photographs. These new pictures are absolutely fabulous, we compared the samples of the new pictures with the old pictures on hand and the clarity is so much better with the 2001 pictures then the 1999 pictures. Phil is the main GIS person using ArcInfo 8 and he gave helpful hints for the use and some of the issues that he has run into with the software. It seems that it takes longer to make a map in ArcMap then it does in ArcInfo.

After the meeting I went back to finish the TAZ map for the planners and guess what a new change, now they want one large map with everything on it and the inset maps showing the CBDs and a smaller map without the inset maps. I finally got the large map done and then when we printed it out we found ghost halos on the map where the CBD annotation use to be, this does not show up on the screen only on the printout. This happened after I made the CBD annotation a different item so that it could be turned off on the large map and turned on for the inset maps. I will find out how well it worked when I run the map in the morning.

July 19
The ghost halos are back and have gotten worse.  The halos have gotten bigger and spread out more we spent a long time tracking down where the problem was and we found it in a reselection that we did and it seems that the halo was not selected with the text. We put that project aside for a while and did a data collection for an outside request. I copied the coverages of the requested data and put them in a file. Then came the work. The person requested aerial photographs of specific intersections and roadways. I had to pull out the chart with the photos over the road network and try to match the request and the photo with each other. After picking out the correct pictures I placed them into a separate file to be put on a CD to be distributed.

July 20
Finally got all of the bugs worked out of the AML for the TAZ map the planners wanted. It turned out to be a great map. I started in on a map for publication; we will do the basic map in arc info and then import it into Illustrator for the final coloring and definition. I also started a map of the city owned property map of the CBD. The CBD map was quick and easy to do I pretty much got it done in about two and a half hours but then the plotter ran out of paper and I tried to refill it and this was an experience in its own right. By the time I got the plotter up it was time to go home.

July 23
Today was not too bad of a day. Started the day by running the downtown map of city properties. When the map was done I continued to finish the production map for the celebration announcement. I finished the ArcInfo portion of the map and I am just waiting to get on a computer with Illustrator on it. During the wait I started in on 2 additional map requests. The requests are for 1 map showing the Comp plan zones for the area inside the boundaries of I-90, Highway 520, 100th St., and 140th St.. The second map is for the land use in the same defined area. As I started to work on these maps I had to go back to the property map from earlier in the day and add a new building that became city property since the last time this was done. This was not just adding another building to the existing database I had to create a new department for the coverage and a new item for the department assign it a new color and add it to the legend in ArcEdit. It took about 2 hrs to get it done right, and it needed to be done before the close of business.

July 24
Today began with some touchups to the celebration map before the Illustrator work. Then I filled a data request. Then I finished work on the first map that shows zoning in the city. The comp plan map threw us a curve in that we got the coverage from the planning group and they write their AMLs in a way that is not easy to identify the different parts of the production. (prime example of bad code writing). It took us a while to identify the source of the color scheme that they used in their AML. Every time we ran our AML we got some awful colors in the display and we could not identify one feature from another. Brooke helped me find the location of the colors and once that was done I had to tackle the legend that is quite unique in its composition, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. In the afternoon I got on Brooks computer and did the Adobe Illustrator edits to the celebration map. I am not to happy with the way it turned out because the polygon used to define the project extent came out kind of sharp edged and boxy. All in all the map looked pretty good, I will make a jpeg of it and send it to you.

July 25
Yesterday my computer broke after the IT technician tried to upgrade the software and so I had no computer for the first part of the morning and then it still acts up during some operations. The IT people thought it was due to a bad installation of ArcView 8 so we reinstalled it this morning and that did not help. I worked on the comp plan map.

July 26
I finished the comp plan map and printed out the 2 maps to add with Brooks’ digital ortho map of the same area, I am still amazed at the improved resolution of the new photographs they got in. I also filled a data request in dxf format for an AutoCad user. Then I modified the map that I made for the planners to just show the TAZs for the Bellevue City limits and made it a smaller size so that each planner could have their own map.

July 27
This was an interesting day in that I actually got a chance to use a map that I made. When I got in there was a message on my phone from the PR department asking me to participate in a photo shoot for an Artwall that the city had just erected and they are trying to publicize it. I made the map a couple of days ago of the place that they will be holding the celebration. While I was waiting for the photo crew I noticed that the name of the street that was written on the request sheet was wrong, so when I got back to the office I made a couple of changes to the map and then sent down to the people that placed the original request letting them know of the error. The afternoon was spent updating the city sidewalk coverage. Brook wrote a really cool AML that makes updating very easy.

July 30
Digitized all day long!!!!! In updating the sidewalk coverage for the city there are a lot of parcels that get their own sidewalk with their own parcel number. I found out that the easy way to do this is to assign the unique numbers as you create the sidewalk and then go back and select all that are the same project and site numbers and assign them as a group, if you don’t do it that way you spend AAALLLLLL day on one little area trying to make sure you got all of the lines. !!!!LESSON LEARNED!!!!

July 31
Finished digitizing the updates for the sidewalk and trails map. Then I messed up in a big way. I thought that I copied the street name coverage onto my hard drive but I did not and I deleted the coverage from the server and then when I went to copy the coverage that I though I had there was none. FORTUNATELY Brook had another copy of the coverage on CD. When I ran the AML I noticed that there were a couple of places that I missed and there were a couple of places that the edit did not take so I will finish them in the morning. I also kept forgetting to use the all argument when I kill coverages on the server; I was lucky that the kills took without the all.

Aug. 1
Finished updating the sidewalk coverage this morning. Started in on a map request for the planning department in which they are trying to design circulator routes for busses in downtown Bellevue. This is a great project because I had to create a new coverage based on the Right of Way coverage. There are 4 routes that are being considered and I had to digitize the routes that the planners drew out on another map. Then assigned two additional attributes to the items giving them unique colors and route numbers. In the morning I will get Zorba to help me put direction indications on the routes.

Aug. 2
Finished the two maps for the planners but then the plotter ran out of paper and it took a long time and several dry runs to get it working correctly again. The circulator map that I made was interesting in that the different routes had to be in a specific order so that the all the different line widths could be seen because they each represented a different route that traveled over the same area. No disasters today.

August 3
Today I started in on updating the general map of Bellevue. After I ran the first copy I noticed that the name of some of the schools did not show up and some of the properties and facility locations were not colored correctly. Since the coverage that we got the information from came from the IS department I went upstairs to get some clarification from Phil Condit. Phil made a few suggestions on where to get the correct information and he also noticed that some of the police stations were not in the correct locations and told me where the correct coverage for the police stations could be found. When I got back to the office Brook had a data request for me. The request is for orthophotos that cover some work projects that they will be doing. I went into ArcPlot and brought up the project coverage and then placed the ortho grid over the coverage and then selected the grid numbers that corresponded with the placement and on Monday I will copy those photos to CD. In the afternoon I went on the new hire orientation tour of the transportation department that was conducted by Loren Alvers (great guy). This was a very informative tour. Loren took us to different places in Bellevue and gave us the history of the city and the history of the transportation department. Loren has been with the city for 19 years and has a wealth of knowledge of how the department works. He also explained how the different sections of the transportation department helped to accomplish them mission of transportation.

Aug. 6-10
This week I worked on one project for the whole week. I updated the basic city map that shows all of the city owned buildings. For this I had to transfer some of the points to new more current coverages. Then I changed some symbols, corrected some locations of points. I also gave points that had no annotation some annotation and some annotation that had no points some points. I also adjusted the AML so that it gets its data from the most recent updated coverages for schools, police stations, and fire stations.

Aug. 8
Went to the GIS user group meeting where we heard about a couple of programs that the city is bringing on line like the LIS (Land Information System) that will be a database for all land issues in the city. We also got an update on the new sets of orthophotos that are coming in. Every one got introduced to Brooks new boss Cathy; she is the new IS manager for the transportation department.

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