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Society/business Center for Information Technology Research and Innovation Support Services Geodienst

FAQ

Data

Where can I find Dutch administrative data?

On our dataportal you can find a number of prepared frequently used datasets. Online you can also find a lot of data, for example through Statistics Netherlands (CBS) or PDOK. Check out Geodata to find often used data sources and datasets. Didn't find what you were looking for? Please send us an email and we will see what we can do for you!

Where can I find Dutch landscape data?

The Netherlands offers a wide variety of open datasets that you can use for your research. For background purposes (basemap layers) ArcGIS Online (in ArcMap) and the PDOK plugin (in QGIS) offer almost all these layers. However if you want to do analysis with these kinds of layers it is better to download them. Check out Geodata for downloads and other links.

How can I change my data format?

A common problem is that the data you use cannot be opened in another GIS program. A common file format like a .geojson for instance, doesn’t open in ArcMap. To tackle this problem you can change the format of the data in a program that can open this type of data, for instance in QGIS. Right click the layer in the Table of contents and click 'Export'. There change the 'Format' to a file that you can open in ArcMap, (Esri Shapefile). You can also go back to your data source to see whether they offer the data in another format.

In the following overviews you can see which dataformats work in which GIS programs:

ArcMap

ArcGIS Pro

QGIS

How do I correctly refer to my data?

For most dataset you found online you will also find information about how to refer to this dataset at the same place. Data you download from this website also provides instruction how to correctly refer to this data. If you can’t find the reference anywhere, refering to the source and the page you found the dataset, is probably enough. If you have any doubts on how to refer to a dataset, please send us an email.

Analysis

How do I know which tool to use for my GIS project?

All GIS programs have a large number of tools you can use for all kinds of analysis. Our service catalog gives an overview of the available tools for data management or analyses. It is always good to check out research from researchers that have done similar analyses and see which tools they use. If you still doubt your choice or run into trouble installing or using a tool, sending an email to the Geodienst is the best option.

I have data in my GIS project, but I can’t use it as an input for my analysis. What can I do about this?

Many GIS analyses require a specific input format in order to be able to work. Fortunately in all GIS programs there are many conversion tools that you can use to change the format so that you can use the data as input. A few useful ones are: Vector to raster, Raster to Vector, Excel to table, Raster pixels to polygon. Note that Basemaps cannot be used as input for an analysis.

I have found online an analysis, but ArcMap/ArcGIS Pro says I’m not allowed to do this. What do I do now?

As a student you have quite a lot of extensions you can use in ArcMap, but these are not automatically turned on. Perhaps the analysis you try to do is one of these. Go to "Customize -> Extensions". Here you can check one of the boxes, for instance the one in front of Network Analyst. Now you are able to do these analyses. For ArcGIS Pro you cannot turn on extensions by yourself. You will need to send an email to the Geodienst so we can turn them on for you.

Software

I want to open ArcMap on a RuG computer, but it says it has to install. What should I do?

When Windows or ArcMap has an update, the program itself doesn’t automatically update when someone starts up the computer. Only as soon as someone starts the program it will begin updating. Unfortunately there is not that much you can do then, you just have to wait until it is finished updating. Note that this can take over 15 minutes, so it might be a good idea to do something else in the meantime.

Can I also get ArcMap on my own device?

As long as you are student or staff at the university you can also use ArcMap on your own device. Via the download portal you can find the program, as well as an instruction manual. Unfortunately ArcMap doesn’t work on a MacBook. Do note that ArcMap should not be used for commercial purposes.

Can I also get QGIS on my own device?

You can download ArcGIS pro from the download portal of the RUG. Here you can find the program, an instruction manual as well as the license for the software.

Can I get ArcGIS pro on my own device?

QGIS is free downloadable software. Usually there is a newest and a long-term download. It is advised to take the long-term as it is more stable. QGIS works on Windows, Mac, Linux and BSD.

How do I log in to ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online?

As a student or employee of the RUG you also can access the online part of the GIS services. These are both on the internet on www.arcgis.com and within ArcMap and ArcGIS pro. To login to ArcGIS Online you first have to click ‘Sing in’ select 'Enterprise login' and enter rug.maps.arcgis, which redirects him to the university login page. Log in using your RUG credentials and you should be able to access the online environment.

Visualization

My map looks deformed, how do I get this right?

Sometimes while making a map you find that some region looks stretched or cropped. This is often because the map uses a wrong coordinate system. While making a map you have to make sure that you use a coordinate system that suits your location best.

Some popular coordinate systems:

  • World: WGS 84
  • Europe: ETRS89
  • Netherlands: RD New
How do I create a choropleth map?

When you have a set of polygons that you would like to colorize according to a specific value in the attribute table, you can do this by adjusting the symbology of the layer. You can approach this through the layer properties. Here you can divide your layer into categories or gradients. You can also specify the column from the attribute table that needs to be visualized. Rule of thumb: choose categories when you are working with nominal variables and choose gradients when you are working with ordinal, ratio or interval variables.

Training

Where can I find training for ArcMap/ArcGIS Pro?

ESRI offers a wide variety of trainings. Click on 'Catalog -> Course Catalog' and the trainings will be visible to you. We recommend to choose as format 'Web Courses', as this entices you to work actively with the programs. Via 'Products' you can select which program you want to use. Most of these tutorial are free.

Where can I find training for QGIS?

Unlike ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro there are no official QGIS trainings. Still you should be able to find plenty of exercises online. In addition the Geodienst offers some QGIS trainings to get you started. Check out Courses and workshops for more information.

I want to do a Making Maps course from the Geodienst. Where can I register myself for this?

You can register for our Making maps tutorials via the CIT Academy. When you click the 'i' next of the data of the course you will find the information where at and what time the course commences. Via 'register' you can register yourself for the course. Please only register when you expect to come.

We are with a group of people and we want to do a Geodienst course. Is it possible to do this on appointment?

The Geodienst can also give tutorials on appointment. However, we cannot guarantee to have instructors available at any time. Therefore sending an email to Geodienst is necessary, so that we can communicate when and how this will be organized. These planned courses will cost around 600 euros.

Last modified:27 July 2020 10.09 a.m.
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