fGIS - Quick Start Guide

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Quick Start Guide


1.      When fGIS first starts, you must open an existing project file (ending in ".ttkgp") or type in the name of a new map project. (Note: The "default.ttkgp" project that comes with fGIS is actually a Wisconsin Transverse Mercator shapefile with "Welcome to fGIS" as a line label positioned in northern WI. That could cause problems if you add layers using a different projection to the default project. Since fGIS uses the first loaded layer as the project's base coordinate system, it is better to type in a new project name and then begin your new project by adding a layer using the desired projection.)

2.      Next click the yellow "+" button (the Add Layer command) in the menu bar and navigate to a folder containing map layers (geo-referenced images or vector objects representing point locations, lines or areas). Double-click the file you want to add to the view (or hold down the Ctrl or Shift keys to select multiple data files to load). Loaded layers must all share a common coordinate system if they are to line up.

3.      Double-click a layer name after it is listed in the legend to access the Properties dialog to change the appearance features of the data.

As an example, you might want to download the fGIS State_Park.zip or Arborvitae.zip project to experiment with. To save download time, low resolution imagery is provided in the zip files, 2 to 3 MB in size.


To digitize a new shapefile vector layer:

1.    Use Edit>New Layer (or right-click the map area and choose New Layer). Pick either a point, line or polygon object layer to create. Keep in mind that before you can create a new shape layer, at least one pre-existing layer (either vector or raster data) must be added to the view. fGIS will use use the first layer to establish a world space.

2.    Give the new layer a name and save it.

3.    If it's not already selected, click on the New Shape Tool (pencil tool). Click points on the map area to define the object. Be sure to digitize polygon area shapes in a counter-clockwise direction.

4.    Right-click the map area and Stop Editing. Save the edits.

5.    In the legend (layer list), double-click the name of the new layer to access properties controls to change how the object is displayed.

When you are done with an edit session, save the fGIS project file.

An fGIS project file keeps:

       A table of contents of all your map layers with a record of where the data are stored

       Whether or not a layer was turned on (visible) when the project was last saved

       The layer properties that you set

       The last zoomed screen view



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