If you are looking to impress your boss at your internship DO NOT resort to flattery. Instead, look to these few key actions you can take to ensure you will be looked at in a positive way. We’re not talking about just dressing the part and showing up to work on time but working intuitively on the tasks assigned to you (which as an intern is most likely data intensive.)
Reducing data to only that which you need to complete your tasks. Remember that tons of information can be useful but not always relevant. Don’t use an entire image of your county as a refernce layer when all you need is one region, town or city. Instead, clip it to the area you need to speed up your loading time between zooming and panning through ArcMap.
Renaming your layers so that not only you understand them but an outside user can as well. This means changing layer names in ArcMap to illustrate exactly what you are looking at. It’s all about preferences but I’ve found that using simple names in ArcMap not only cleans up the appearance of the documents in the map document but also makes it easy for anyone to understand what they are looking at.
Remembering the end user. Your boss will love you. After all, someone is going to look at the data and maps you create and either get it or not. In the map industry, as in all industries, we do not want the latter. The objective of a map is to be as cogent as possible delivering relevant information to solve a problem or complete a task.
As an intern, your immediate customer may be only your boss. You may not see projects reach the public eye. Nontheless, be prepared to explain to your supervisor the reasons for your decisions and link them to the customer. After all the key component of GIS is the end user.
Using folders in ArcCatalog for easy referencing. ArcCatalog is just that… a catalog! Keep it organized. Even if your GIS data is limited it will only get bigger. Database organization is an art finding just the right amount of folders and subfolders. How you organize your data will depend on how much and what kind of data you have. If you are unsure where data should be saved in your employer’s database… ask them. There is nothing worse than investing time into creating or editing shapefiles only to have them be floating somewhere where they shouldn’t be.