This excerpt from the technical note in the Burning Man Monitoring Report demonstrates how ArcGIS was used in conjunction with digital data from Ricoh GPS-cameras. In the field, the cameras were used to capture a GPS location (as a point, line or area) and record attributes about that location. Geosptial Experts GPS-Photo Link was used to export that information to an the ESRI shapefile format.
The ESRI shapefile format was key to seamlessly migrate data from the GPS cameras and Trimble devices into ArcGIS for data management and analysis. ArcGIS was used for spatial analysis, data management and mapmaking. This allowed the team to monitor the event in real-time and create a long term record for the future planning.
1. Display locations on city grid
The GPS camera data yielded a single shapefile (GIS layer) of point locations at which each photograph was taken. Locations captured by the Trimble GPS units, yielded three distinct point, line and area GIS layers. Team-collected data was combined with the Black Rock City infrastructure layer in ArcGIS. GPS-captured locations of photos and areas of concern could then be displayed in terms of the BRC grid.
2. Query locations based on entered information
Data from the GPS-cameras and Trimble units contains not only location but also the attributes that were entered upon capture. These 5 attributes entered serve as the basis for symbology, queries and spatial analysis in ArcGIS.
3. Perform spatial analysis
ArcGIS was used to summarize documented incidences by stipulation and status and to determine fence lengths, burn platform areas and other city infrastructure calculations.
4. Generate random locations for trash transects
Hawth’s tools was in ArcGIS, used to generate random points through 5 main zones in Black Rock City (Art, Residential, Walk-in Camping, Airport and Other) as shown on the map. During the event, the Monitoring Team photographed the appearance at these locations on the chance that if an excessive amount of trash was found during later inspections, a record exists of that area’s appearance during the event.
Click here for an overview of the ArcGIS software suite.