6.1.1. ArcMap

ArcMap (Fig. 10) is the main interface for conducting analyses and creating maps. Here, feature classes and shapefiles can be populated, data can be edited, calculations can be performed, and finally, maps can be created for displaying the results of the GIS analysis. ArcMap projects are stored as map documents (*.mxd) which save all of the layers added to the map as well as the results of any of the geoprocessing tools which were used. It is important to note that the *.mxd does not store the actual data, but only references to them and user-defined layer organization and symbols. Upon first opening ArcMap (Start menu > All programs > ArcGIS > ArcMap 10.1) a dialog box will pop-up. Select a recently used map from the list, browse to a map that was previously saved, or just click Cancel or close the window to open a blank map.

Fig. 10. An overview of the ArcMap interface.