Program location nationwide
I am creating a map that plots the location of nonprofit programs. I had 3 different types so this required identifying them using 3 different symbols. I downloaded free U.S. cities/states shapefiles from NOAA. But then I had to go about the business of plotting the programs. The best way I found was to go into the attribute box, edit to delete the cities I didn't need, then save the end result as a copy of this feature class so that the original shapefile was intact. I did this three different times so that I could attach a different symbol. A couple of problems:
1) this was very time intensive (I had 1200 programs to plot total and over 42,000 cities to go through...3 different times.
2) some of the cities were not listed in the shapefile so those cities I could not plot (I guess I'll have to figure out a way to hand locate them?)
My question...was there an easier, less time intensive way I could have done this? Creating queries stood to take even longer and didn't guarantee that I got the right "Columbia" for instance.
Mapping Center Answer:
You are essentially working with data that needs geocoding. ArcGIS can help you with this process and yes, it would dramatically reduce the time you expended manually locating your non profit programs.
The What is Geocoding pages gives you a good starting point for learning about geocoding.
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