Link to my embedded map page on my site is here.
To be completely honest, my initial experience with this assignment consisted of blindly following the directions that came with the lab. Thank goodness for the detailed directions… But even with them, there were times that I found myself lost or confused (e.g. digitizing features, customizing attributes, etc.). This makes me wonder if/how ArcGIS could be re-organized to be more intuitive or user-friendly for the masses, or if it’s simply a platform that needs to be used frequently in order for it to be efficient and effective!
After establishing the foundations of this assignment, I felt more comfortable going back and further exploring smaller details, such as adding other layers that might offer insights or meaningful relationships to our squirrel data. For example, I tried to find a layer that showed waste disposals or benches in Central Park, because I wondered if maybe squirrels were more frequently spotted by trash cans and benches (aka in the presence of food).
ArcGIS does seem to have a lot of possibilities, though (even if I myself am not too great at it yet!). It’s really cool to be able to see data within its actual locational context (i.e. the squirrels in Central Park, within the larger context of a map of Manhattan). The idea of Story Maps in ArcGIS is also intriguing – for instance, I can see it being used in archaeology, helping us visualize connections and timelines between various places or a single place’s history.