Lab 3: Digitizing, Editing, & Sharing Data


This lab demonstrates the process for creating a presentation, for the review of a committee, for a proposed new campground on National Forest land located in northern Utah.   The site is north of the town of Liberty, and east of the Wasatch Mountain Range.  The proposed campground location has been analyzed and mapped, and individual campsites have been added.  The presentation includes various formats that have been used to showcase the proposal in a number of different ways, which will be described throughout this page as files are added.

Proposed Location of Campground

The proposed site is located north of the town of Liberty, in Weber County, Utah.  Weber County is in the northern part of Utah and is northeast The Great Salt Lake.  The site is east of the Wasatch Range and was chosen for its relatively flat topography, nearby Utaba Reservoir (north), and North Durfee Creek.  It rests in the trees and has road access nearby.  The site is within the recommended size at 1.11 hectares.  Eight campsites within the campground were chosen for privacy and road access.  The proposed campground road is an extension of N. Durfee Road and is .18 miles long.

Downloadable pdf:

Proposed Campground


.mxd Files —

An mxd file is an ArcMap map document with a table of contents that links to all its layers, data frames, objects, basemaps, and attribute tables.  Having just the map document is not very useful – the files need to be provided to the end user if the map is to be complete.  Map documents alone can be used for layout templates.

.mpk Files —

These are Map Package files in ArcMap.  The software required for their use is ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Online.  A map package consists of the map document (mxd) and all supporting shapefiles, layers, and tables that go with it. Map Packages are good for keeping a project together for sharing, however, they are large files with no compression, so they take a long time to upload and download.

.lyr Files —

Layer files are used in ArcGIS Desktop, Google Maps, QGIS, and other software programs.  They are used to represent the symbology of the shapefiles or feature classes in a map or geodatabase.  While they are useful to use as templates for similar layers, they are also hard to share online and will not work with a file geodatabase.

.shp Files —

Shapefiles are used in ArcGIS and also AutoCAD and other software suites.  They are geospatial objects represented in Map Documents.  They are very easy to share from ArcGIS, but in Windows Explorer they are broken up into five or more supporting files, which can cause mistakes when sharing if one is missed.

.kmz Files —

Keyhole Markup Language is used for interactive Google Earth and Google Maps (.kmz or .kml respectively).  They can be created from shapefiles in ArcGIS and shared easily, however, Google Maps has restrictions on size, so sometimes KML is useless in making a Google Map.

.gdb Files —

Geodatabase files are used as containers for geospatial information such as feature datasets, symbology, topology, and coordinated systems in ArcGIS.  They are notoriously hard to share online, but they are a good way to keep geospatial data and information organized.


ArcGIS Help, ESRI, GeoNet, Google, Delta State University — Jeff Reed.

interactive google map (kml/kmz)

This interactive map can be used to zoom out and see a larger extent of the map, and to view the proposed campground in context with a larger area.  Layer files from ArcGIS were added to My Maps in Google to create this map.


Below is a jpeg of the campsite information table.  A .cvs and .xlsx file can be viewed by clicking on the link below the table.

Cloudup files — Campsite Information xlsx and csv files (click on arrows to see both files):

The xlsx is an Excel file, which is good for making or printing a visually pleasing table.  The csv file is a text file that is compatible with ArcGIS for saving and editing attribute tables connected to spatial data objects such as the eight campsites.

KMZ / KML Files

Map Package file (mpk)

Map Document, Layer Files, and Shapefiles (mxd, lyr, & shp)

Click on link: Map Document, Shapefiles, and Layers

File Geodatabase with files (gdb)

Click on link:  File Geodatabase with Associated Files