This week's module and lab focused on Hurricane Sandy which struck the New England coastal areas in 2012. The first part of the lab was to create the hurricane tract and in so doing provide the overall picture for the second portion of the lab which involved assessing damage. The first map is seen below:
This map was fun to create and it felt like doing a real world project, which is true. I enjoyed customizing map symbology and using it to show where this monster storm affected. It was also a first in using the graticules and having a slightly skewed north arrow. In the second portion of the lab we focus on the New Jersey coastal area of Ocean County, one of the harder hit areas as well as a FEMA Disaster Declaration area. In examining the aerial imagery for this section of the lab the reality of people's lives being changed did hit home. My finished damage assessment map is seen here:
Various tools were used to organize data, particularly the data mosaic tool. This made it possible to add various levels of data at once and so analyze the imagery side by side by using tools such as "swipe" and "flicker". These tools were quite useful in determining the damage caused. Next I used the editor to define various parcels according to level of damage sustained, this was done by analyzing the pre and post storm imagery.
I enjoyed this lab and find it useful in the real world. The far-reaching capabilities of GIS will continue to make significant impacts on storm affected areas and the people who live there.