Friday, February 18, 2011

Go and Beg for Mercy

The last three days have been hellish. I and my Population geography group was assigned a 10 pg report based on a fertility rate/ demography project of our choosing. We decided that income, race and county type (metro or nonmetro) would be interesting. Little did we know that we would have a bear of a time analyzing this all. We were analyzing 3065 US counties. We had to make 24 categories (instead of  the original 52 our data would make) based on various combinations of above variables. We made no progress on our report for 2 days--hours in the lab and we had barely even run an ANOVA let alone make a map or a graph of our data. Why?
The teachers couldn't help us. Asked my professor about questions for SPSS--didnt know a thing.
Asked an old teacher about ArcMap--she didn't know why it wasnt working.
We finally got a student to help us make a map of our data. Thank goodness for her! Im making her cookies.

5 hours later that night our maps had disappeared. When we opened them off my flash drive, the image would not show up, although the legend would. So we had no idea where the map/data was. We were going to just redo them all. (Did I mention we had redone all our data analysis more than 3 times?) Then some kind person in the lab came over and told us that apparently ArcMap is the gayest program ever and it does not save data to a map unless you export it separately. Also, if you try to open two maps using the same data at the same time the image will not appear. So much for trial and error. Last night until 11:20 we worked on our project and analysis/report. This morning by 9:00 am we were done. I hate feeling ignorant and uneducated about things that even teachers don't know how to solve.

And I hate computers with a passion.

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