Week 7: Adding Layers via ArcGIS Server!

This week we learned how to add layers via ArcGIS server, specifically the “Whippet” server by courtesy of Yoh.

I created three layers: Landmarks, Parks, and Population. Landmarks and parks are often destinations of people’s trip, so it’s helpful to examine the need for public transit by looking at the number of landmarks and parks in the vicinity. Population and density reflect the demand for transit as well. From the map we can see the proposed stops are located at a relatively dense area, therefore the proposal is reasonable.

One problem I met across is the order of the layers. Because the population layer is larger in area than the other two layers and is continuous, I tend to regard it as a base layer. While the other two layers, landmarks and parks, are comprised of smaller and discrete polygons, and I want them to pop out and catch the attention. This is why I chose the bright red and green colors. But since each layer is added on top of the map every time we toggle it on, the population layer can sometimes be on top of the other two layers. I wonder if there is a way to set one layer always to the back of all layers, regardless of the order to check/uncheck the boxes.

full screen map: Please click me hardly.

Week 4: Add Toggles and Google Places to the Map!

This week I added toggles and Google places in the map. Now you can get the information of local businesses provided by Google place. You can check the boxes to turn on/off any layers as you like. Related bus lines can be shown when checked as well. I’m not sure if I deserve the name  “El Mapador” but enjoy the work! Will do more in the coming weeks!

( link to full screen map: http://www.yohman.com/students/2012/zhongbo/week401.html )

Week 3 – Website Assignment

“Proposed bus stops on Venice Blvd and the existing Metro Lines”  – full screen hyperlink:



To assess the proposal of five new bus stops on Venice Blvd, we can refer to the existing bus lines in the vicinity. If public transit is already convenient in the neighborhood, the proposal would be unnecessary.

Among the existing Metro lines, two have stops right on Venice Blvd and they are very close to the proposed stops. The pictures above show the Routes of #33 and #733 on Venice. We can see #33 have more and denser stops, because #733 is supposed to be a rapid Metro line. Our first proposed stop, 11811 Venice, is aimed at encouraging students living in UCLA Venice/Barry Graduate Apartment to utilize public transit. The closes existing bus stop is about a block away (#33). Consider the relatively large scale of blocks on Venice Blvd, and also the high density of residency in the university apartment, it is necessary to add a bus stop right outside the building gate. Moreover, both #33 and #733 head east to the downtown area, while my proposed stops are actually part of a route that goes to UCLA campus. This will greatly reduce the students’ reliance on campus shuttles, which are only offered only on weekdays and at limited times.

Another four routes don’t have direct bus stops on Venice Blvd, but are close to the neighborhood. They all go to the east side downtown area. The proposed bus stops can act as a compliment to enhance the west – east connectivity.


Week 1: Site Review – Parking Map for Manhattan NYC, Boston and Seattle


This website aims at providing accurate parking information to the public in Manhattan NYC, Boston and Seattle. Using this website you can find on-street parking/garages/bike racks at a certain time and for a certain period. The parking spots are sorted into four categories according to the time left: More than four hours; Cutting it close; Dangerous; Bad idea.



The searching filters include:




  • Parking Types:

Users can choose among three parking types: On-Street/ Garages/ Bike Racks






I think the inclusion of bike parking conveys the advocacy of biking and thus a healthy notion. Also the color theme of this website – green – is very pleasant and in accordance with that notion.

  • Location:

Users can type in a certain location in the input window, but it doesn’t show matchable results as google map so there is a chance that the database can’t locate the spot input by users.

  • Time:

Users can input starting time and duration of parking needs.

  • Time Left:

The spots are sorted into four categories by the time left: More than 4 hours/ Cutting it close/ Dangerous/ Bad idea

Users can check/uncheck the display boxes besides each category to show the spots with preferred left time they want.




By hovering over the icon, users can know the exact time left of that spot.



The info window contains three tags: Info/ Street/ Remind

  • Info: It shows the address of the spot, and the parking sign that is applied to the spot.



  • Street: It shows google street view and thus gives a very direct visual image of the spot.
  • Remind: This tag is interactive with users. It can send a text reminder if a user inputs his/her phone number and selects a time for that reminder.




The graphics design of this website appeals to me as it is very succinct and intuitive. The icons are simple. The info windows are very informative and illustrative. I think the idea of sending SMS reminder is creative and user-friendly too. I would like to include images in info windows for our group project to make the map more connected to real world. I would also like to try interaction with users in info windows.



When users type in locations, I think it’s better to show possible results – this can often save some typing and make it more user-friendly. For the same reason, I think it’s better to offer selections for time so users can click instead of type. This helps reduce format confusion.








Week 1: Site Review – Human Trafficking Map


This website presents a global display of human trafficking incidents and news. The incidents and news are sorted into several categories: slavery, prostitution, other, court cases, general news, organ trafficking, and human smuggling. Each category has a distinct symbology icon.



Users can search events in the searching part under the map. It offers filters such as country, range of dates/single date, and city. By checking/unchecking the boxes before countries, users can obtain information from certain countries that are interested to them. They can also choose dates and input a city name.



The website has rolling titles of newest events and announcements. It also shows detailed events sorted by categories at the bottom of the website.






  • informative: when you hover over the icon, it shows a brief description with the country name and the incident title. When you click on the icon, it shows a map in the info window that is zoomed in to the spot. This gives a clearer view of the location of the incident. In the info window, you can also read the type, city, and date of that incident. Moreover, a short paragraph about the news is provided, as well as the hyperlink to the news website.
  • clear instructions: the website offers an instruction about how to use the map, including such basic operations as zooming in and out. This is helpful to people who are relatively not familiar with the Internet.


  • ambiguous symbology icons:  there are seven different type of icons and there is no legend in the map, making it hard to tell the meaning of the icons. Moreover, the website uses flash and the icons are flickering, but only change colors or shapes. This seems to be unnecessary and confusing to me.







  • not enough searching choices: the website doesn’t offer a filter of trafficking types, which seems really odd to me. Because the information is displayed in different categories and the distinct types of icons are very visually dominant, it is natural to think people might want to search a certain type of incidents.



Generally this is an informative website with links to every items, but it is not visually neat and the use of too many types of icons tend to cause confusion. I would like to inset maps in info windows in my group project as it is very illustrative. I think including links in info window is useful too. I wouldn’t use flash in my group website and I will prefer simple and clear icons.

Week 1: Proposed Bus Stops on Venice Boulevard




UCLA has four sites of off-campus graduate housing. Among them University Village and Rose Avenue Apartments are located on Sepulveda/Sawtelle Boulevard, and Venice/Barry  Apartments and Mentone/Keystone Apartments are located on Venice Boulevard. Culver City Bus #6 and Big Blue Bus #12 both have stops close to the former two complexes, so it is convenient for students to take bus for commute. Based on this fact, UCLA doesn’t offer camps shuttles for those two complexes. On the other side, there are no direct bus routes for student living in Venice/Barry or Mentone/Keystone to commute to UCLA. So the  school do offer shuttles for them. However, the shuttles only operate during limited time on weekdays. Moreover, the shuttles leave every one hour and are not as flexible as buses compared to their usually 15-minute interval. Therefore, I have proposed new bus stops on Venice Boulevard to make public transit more accessible to students who live in Venice/Barry and Mentone/Keystone apartments.

The first and the fifth of my proposed bus stops (from left to right on the map) show the locations of the two university graduate apartments. For each complex there are more than 200 residents, so the need of public transit is estimated at a high level at these two spots. The relatively low proportion of car ownership among students further justifies the above point.

Along Venice Boulevard and between the two proposed bus stops, I think two intersections are important: Venice/Sawtelle, and Venice/Sepulveda. Sawtelle and Sepulveda are two main local roads. Both of the intersections bear strip malls where several restaurants and retail stores are located. Therefore I think it is reasonable to propose bus stops at each intersection. Moreover, people can also change to Culver City Bus #6 and Metro 733 at Venice/Sepulveda.

The last proposed bus stop is at Venice Boulevard and Veteran Avenue. This is one of the retail centers in the neighborhood. There is a supermarket and several other retail stores near this spot. Although it is walking distance from Mentone/Keystone Apartments, students living in Venice/Barry can really take advantage of the proposed bus route to go shopping here.

Judging from the distances between stops, it is also reasonable to insert extra stops between Venice/Barry and Venice/Sawtelle, as well as between Venice/Veteran and Mentone/Keystone. This can be decided in further discussion.