Skip To Content

Apply spatial analysis

In the previous lesson, you converted your data into the appropriate time format. Through spatial analysis in this lesson and temporal analysis in the next, you'll begin a predictive analysis of the data. Predictive analysis involves examining recent behavior to predict events. Detecting patterns plays a key role in defeating an enemy force. There is no one right way to detect patterns; it's often left to the imagination and tools of analysts. Your predictive analysis will analyze patterns in the location and time of attacks on FOB Rookie. To find these patterns, you'll use two geoprocessing tools: the Multiple Ring Buffer (in this lesson) and the time slider (in the next lesson).

Near the end of your shift on March 31, an insurgent missile strike at 4:00 a.m. (local time) on FOB Rookie inflicted significant damage and casualties. At this moment, much of the information involving a sudden spike in the number of attacks from the previous 24 hours has yet to be reported or analyzed. Despite the missing details, your mission is to identify the attacker or attackers to help prevent additional rocket attacks on FOB Rookie. By analyzing insurgent patterns from data within the table and map, you'll determine the insurgent network responsible for this morning's rocket attack.

Remove distracting data

Before you begin your analysis, you'll remove redundant or distracting information to better focus on the relevant information. At this point, all you know is the information listed in the Working Aid and derived from the InsurgentActivity table, including the 4:00 a.m. rocket strike. Your first step is turning off values with nonmissile activity (SAF, IED, and SAM) because your task involves identifying future missile launch locations.

  1. If necessary, open your FOB Rookie project in ArcGIS Pro.

    SAF, IED, and SAM are all part of the Attacks layer. You can remove them from the map in one step.

  2. In the Contents pane, uncheck the Attacks_JanMarch_2015 layer.

    You’re focusing on rocket launch points, so rocket impact locations are unnecessary for your map.

  3. Uncheck the RocketsImpact layer.

    RocketsImpact layer in the map

    Now, you have a map allowing you to better focus on your goal: identifying the launch point for the next rocket attack on FOB Rookie.

Apply range rings

According to the Weapon column in the table, the most common rockets used in the Monterey area are the 107mm and 122mm. The working aid explains that the 107mm has a maximum range of 8 kilometers and the 122mm has a maximum range of 20 kilometers. You'll use the Multiple Ring Buffer tool so you can add range rings around FOB Rookie. That way, you’ll be able to visualize the caliber of rocket and the insurgent network that fired it.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab and click Tools.
  2. Search for and open Multiple Ring Buffer (Analysis Tools).
  3. For Input Features, choose FOBRookie.
  4. For Output Feature class, change the name from FOBRookie_MultipleRingBuffer to RocketRanges8km20km.
  5. For Distances, type 8 and press Enter.

    A new buffer distance box appears after you enter the first distance value.

  6. For the second buffer distance, type 20 and press Enter.

    A new distance box is added after each value you enter, but the tool will disregard the empty one.

  7. For Buffer Unit, choose Kilometers.

    Multiple Ring Buffer tool parameters

  8. Click Run. Zoom out so you can see the range rings.

    Multiple Ring Buffer results on the map


    The Multiple Ring Buffer tool uses planar projection when calculating buffers, which does not factor the curvature of the earth in calculating distances. Geodesic projection, which includes the shape of the earth when calculating buffers, increases the distance in range rings when imposed on a map. (The farther from the equator, the more pronounced the range distances are with geodesic projection.) The Buffer tool gives you the option of choosing planar or geodesic. The Multiple Ring Buffer tool, however, allows you to quickly compare range rings. For this lesson, the difference between planar and geodesic is inconsequential. For maps spanning hundreds of kilometers, you would want to use the Buffer tool and its geodesic option for more accurate distance calculations.

    In the new RocketRanges layer, the outer ring represents the 20-kilometer range from FOB Rookie and the inner ring represents the 8-kilometer range. 122mm rockets were probably fired from launch sites within the outer ring, and 107mm rockets were probably fired from launch sites within the inner ring.

    Range rings are important for your analysis because they will allow you to differentiate between 107mm and 122mm rockets.

    Next, you'll adjust the transparency for the RocketRanges layer in order to see the basemap under it.

  9. In the Contents pane, click the symbol for RocketRanges8km20km.
  10. In the Symbology pane, click Properties and change Outline color to black and Outline width to 2. Optionally, change the fill color to a lighter shade that contrasts with the basemap.

    Outline color

  11. Click Apply.

    Next, you'll adjust the transparency for the RocketRanges layer to see the basemap under it.

  12. On the Appearance tab, in the Effects group, drag the Layer Transparency slider to 60 percent.

    Transparency tool

    You can now see the basemap below the RocketRanges layer.


Alternatively, you could have changed the color of the RocketRanges8km20km layer to no color and left Layer Transparency at 0 percent. However, while panning and zooming a map, it helps to maintain a slight tint on the layer so you can see whether a particular area falls inside or outside the range rings.

Change basemaps

Terrain often dictates tactics and strategy. Enemy intentions and patterns may become clear when you use different basemaps to compare and contrast topology.

  1. On the Map tab, in the Layer group, click Basemap and choose Terrain with Labels.

    Terrain with Labels basemap

    The new map reflects terrain with place-names.

  2. Zoom in to the launch sites to the east of FOB Rookie.

    Map zoomed in to launch sites

    The launch sites along Highway 68 are concentrated on the road, while launch locations in the flat terrain northeast of Highway 17 are more likely to be dispersed, meaning insurgents in this area tend to (but do not always) disperse when firing.

  3. Change the basemap to Imagery.
  4. Uncheck the RocketRanges8km20km layer.

    Map showing imagery

    Insurgents near Salinas, when firing from flat terrain, tend to prefer farm fields and avoid urban areas.

  5. Pan to the area west of FOB Rookie.

    Map of imagery west of FOB Rookie

    By panning, you can compare the behaviors of insurgents to the east and west of FOB Rookie. The insurgents to the west of FOB Rookie are more willing to fire rockets from urban areas (and in one event, from the ocean) than insurgents east of FOB Rookie.

  6. Change the basemap to Streets.
  7. Pan to the area north of FOB Rookie and zoom out to 1:80,000.

    Streets pan

    Because the Streets basemap emphasizes roads, you can gather more details about the types and names of roads that insurgents are likely to use to travel to and from launch sites.

  8. Check the RocketRanges layer to turn it back on.
  9. Zoom back out to see all of the data on the map.

Identify insurgents via attribute selection

To help identify the insurgents responsible for this morning's IDF attack, you'll select attributes from the table to find insurgent networks commonly linked to the IDF attack type.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the RocketsLaunch layer and choose Attribute Table.

    Attribute Table setting for RocketsLaunch layer

  2. On the Map tab, in the Selection group, click Select By Attributes.

    Select by Attributes

    The Geoprocessing pane opens to the Select Layer by Attribute tool. Verify that Input Rows is set to RocketLaunch

  3. Under Expression, click Add Clause.
  4. Build the expression Attack type is Equal to IDF. Click Enter or the Update button to complete the expression.

    Completed expression

  5. Click Run to apply the selection.
  6. At the bottom of the table, click the Show selected records button.

    Show selected records button

  7. Scroll across the table until you can see both the Attack type and Network columns.

    Notice that 64 of the 107 attacks involve indirect fire (IDF). These attacks are exclusively associated with the Green and Yellow networks. (Two of the IDF attacks from this morning, the rocket strikes at 00:30 local time and 04:00 local time, are still missing network data, so you don't yet know which networks are responsible for firing those rockets.)

    The FOB Rookie Working Aid explains that the Green and Yellow insurgent networks both fire 107mm and 122mm rockets, a fact corroborated by the table data. You'll symbolize their launch sites so you can distinguish these networks from the others.

  8. At the bottom of the table, click the Show all records button.

    Show all records button

  9. On the table toolbar, click the Clear Selection button.

    Clear Selection button

  10. Close the RocketsLaunch attribute table.
  11. If necessary, in the Contents pane, click the RocketsLaunch layer to highlight it.
  12. On the Appearance tab, in the Drawing group, click the Symbology menu and choose Unique Values.
  13. In the Symbology pane, change Field 1 to Network.

    Value field, Field 1 set to Network

    In the Contents pane, the RocketsLaunch layer is symbolised and classified using with the Network attribute, which represents all insurgent networks on the map. By reviewing the symbology, you'll notice that some launches are unclassified and categorised as blank as they were made by unidentified networks.

    Blank network shown in new legend

  14. Using the Map, Explore tool, click on and review the attributes of the unclassified rocket launches.

    Review unidentified networks

    While reviewing, you'll notice that the launches were made by unidentified networks at 12:30 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Knowing those launch times means you can delete all the values from the Network category except the blank value as well as the Green and Yellow networks. Removing distractions will declutter your map and help you focus on identifying the network responsible for the morning's lethal attack.

  15. Close the Pop-up window.
  16. In the Symbology pane, Classes tab, Value column, right-click Blue and choose Remove.

    Remove network

  17. Remove the Orange, Purple, Red, and Unknown values.
  18. Click the More menu and uncheck the Show all other values box.

    For simplicity, you'll symbolize the insurgent networks using the same color as their names, but you could choose any color you want, as long as the symbols contrast with the basemap.

  19. In the Contents pane, under the Network label, right-click the symbol that represents the unlabeled network and choose a bright red color, such as Poinsettia Red (#E600000).
  20. Right-click the symbol for the Green network and choose a bright green color, such as Leaf Green (#38A800).
  21. Change the yellow symbol to a bright yellow color, such as Solar Yellow (#FFFF00).

    Your RocketsLaunch layer and map, as well as your Symbology pane, now reflect the unidentified red launch points, as well as the existing Green and Yellow networks.

  22. Save the project.

Configure pop-ups

Next, you'll reconfigure the RocketsLaunch layer pop-ups to reduce the number of attributes and display only relevant information.

This section will help you quickly analyze the red dots because the information associated with those point features contains data associated with rocket launches. Those features are likely associated with the Green or Yellow networks.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the RocketsLaunch layer and choose Configure Pop-ups.

    Configure Pop-ups

  2. In the Pop-ups pane, click the first text box to edit the title of the pop-up.

    Pop-up title

  3. For Title Options, click the Field menu and choose Coordinated_Universal_Time {Coordinated_Universal_Time}.

    If the Field menu isn't active, click anywhere on the map and then click the Title Options pane. Or, highlight and delete the text within the Title Options pane to activate the Field menu.

    Choose Field Coordinated_Universal_Time


    Having Coordinated Universal Time in your titles means your pop-ups will be in sync with the international timing standard used in the military and civilian worlds.

  4. If necessary, delete {Attacktime_local_} so only {Coordinated_Universal_Time} shows.
  5. In the Pop-ups pane, click the Back button.

    Back button

    Your changes are saved when you click the Back button on the Pop-ups pane.

  6. In the Pop-ups pane, click the Text button.

    Text button

  7. In the highlighted Text setting, click the Edit pop-up element button.

    Edit pop-up element button

  8. For Text Options, delete the text and type Rocket Launch Activity 1/1/2015-3/31/2015.
  9. Using the format buttons, underline and bold the text.

    Rocket launch pop-up text

  10. Click the Back button.

    You'll also choose which fields to display in the pop-up and exclude unnecessary information.

  11. Next to the Fields setting, click the Edit pop-up element button.

    Edit pop-up element button

  12. For Field Options, uncheck the Display box for the following fields:
    • Attack location
    • Attack coords
    • Attack longitude
    • Attack latitude
    • Longitude launch
    • Latitude launch
    • Longitude impact
    • Latitude impact
    • Pacific Standard Time

    Field Options set

  13. Click the Back button.
  14. On the map, click any Rocket Launch point feature to view its pop-up.

    To avoid clutter, you can drag the pop-up to another part of your screen. You can also expand the pop-up by dragging its edges.

  15. In the lower right of the pop-up, click the button to flash this feature on the active map.

    Flash the feature in the map

    The feature linked to the pop-up momentarily turns cyan blue.

  16. Close the pop-up. Close the Pop-ups pane.
  17. Save the project.

    Now the pop-ups give quick, relevant information about particular features.

In this lesson, you changed basemaps to accentuate differences in your data and visualize insurgent behavioral patterns. You used the Multiple Ring Buffer tool to illustrate rocket ranges and identified the information needed for further analysis. In the next lesson, you'll use the time slider to differentiate among the rocket launch times.