New Learn ArcGIS Lesson: No Dumping - Drains to Ocean

By Aileen Buckley, Esri Cartographer

No Dumping thumbnailA new try-it-yourself-for-free project been posted on the Learn ArcGIS web site! In the No Dumping – Drains to Ocean project, you’ll learn how to find the area that contributes to a storm drain and the route that pollutants will take if they are dumped or washed into the drain. You’ll find the upstream drainage area, called a watershed, for a storm drain near Blackman Elementary School in Tennessee. Then you’ll find the downstream flow path, called a trace, to where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Knowing how to find these, you can experiment to find the watersheds and flow paths for other storm drain locations.

Project Workflow: Create a point layer for the storm drain using Map Notes. Create a default  watershed. Note that it is small, so rerun the analysis using the search distance setting to find the larger upstream watershed. Explore the map to see where the watershed is located. Create the downstream flow path (trace). Examine the table to see its length in miles. Add a field and calculate it to show the length in kilometers. Explore the map to see where the trace flows.

Build skills in these areas:


About the author

Dr. Aileen Buckley has been making maps since she was an undergraduate student. She has a Bachelors in Geography and Spanish from Valparaiso University, a Masters in Geography from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Oregon State University. She is a senior product engineer on the Living Atlas team, and her work focuses on determining and sharing best practices for mapping and analysis with modern GIS. She publishes and presents world-wide on many aspects of mapping and GIS. She is a co-author of Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation, and she is a co-editor for the Atlas of Oregon. Aileen is a former president of CaGIS (the U.S. cartographic association) and is actively involved with the International Cartographic Association in which she is the lead delegate for the United States.


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