Homework 2 (Due Before the Class of Nov. 26)

Credit: 5 points
Extra credit: 3 points

In this homework, students are asked to understand how to manipulate and analyze several SIZABLE datasets associated with infectious disease X occurrence in the African continent. The DATASETS are available as follows.

  • Africa_DiseaseX_Risk_data.dbf
  • African_admin_regions.dbf
  • African_Countries.dbf


The Africa_DiseaseX_Risk_data.dbf dataset contains the risk of disease X occurring in various regions of the African continent. The dataset includes the following attributes: LATITUDE, LONGITUDE, LOCATION_NAME, LOCATION_TYPE, FIPS_ADMIN, FIPS_CNTRY, CNTRY_NAME, ADMIN_NAME, RISK (in that order), and contains approximately a million points.

The African_admin_region.dbf contains the details of many African administrative regions. Each data entry contains the following columns FIPS_ADMIN, ADMIN_NAME, FIPS_CNTRY, CNTRY_NAME, POPULATION_ADMIN, LOCATION_TYPE, AREA_SQMI, RISK, and REMARKS.

Additionally, African_Countries.dbf provides information for each country. This dataset includes FIPS_CNTRY, CNTRY_NAME, LONG_NAME, POPULATION_CNTRY, CURRENCY_TYPE, LANDLOCKED, and REMARKS

The first homework task is to organize (e.g., using layers) and map the data using ArcGIS Desktop tools. [Note: for you to access ArcGIS, I’ll ask someone to open the lab (i.e., our class room) during our regular class time on Monday (Nov. 12).] Please pay attention to that the data set identifying the risk of disease X has around a million points, and thus is especially sizable. Please search out and add other data layers such as publicly available world map or African map as necessary.

The second homework task is to use data reduction techniques to present this data effectively. Some example strategies may be

  • using varying details at different scales to convey the risk;
  • creating multiple layers to manage data; and
  • aggregating risks at country and administrative domain levels using choropleth maps.

You may develop other strategies. Please make sure that you save all your work files and briefly explain the steps you undertook in ArcGIS to create them.

WebGIS is one of the most effective ways to communicate this infectious disease risk information to a world-wide audience who may travel to the African regions. The third homework task is to present your analysis of extending the management and presentation of these datasets to WebGIS by answering the following questions: What characteristics of your solution would make it suitable for WebGIS? What steps would you take to deploy your solution using WebGIS? What are the challenges of extending your solution to a WebGIS in terms of management and presentation of large size datasets and what strategies would you take to mitigate these challenges?

For extra credit:

  1. Add search functionality to allow users to search by typing either country or administrative domain name.
  2. Hovering over map/clicking on map gives useful information about the country/administrative domains. For example, hovering over the country of South Africa, you may list the countries’ population, along with the risk and associated remarks, below mouse cursor.


Note: please turn in your project and map/data files as well as your project report using NetFiles (https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/xythoswfs/webui) and make sure that your files are web-accessible.