Flow Charts

Flow charts are a valuable tool to make it easier to visualize and work out complex analysis steps in spatial analysis. They also provide documentation that is easy for everyone to read and can be included in reports, posters, and papers.

"Standard" (IBM) Flow Chart Symbols

Below are the standard flow chart symbols sometimes referred to as "IBM" symbols because IBM used them extensively.

Standard IBM Flow Chart Symbols

Example Flow Chart for Checking SRS

Below is an example flow chart for checking the spatial reference for a file. Follow the flow chart from start to end and see if it makes sense to you.

Example Flow Chart to Check SRS

Example Flow Chart for Projecting Data

Below is another simple flow chart for checking if we need to project spatial data before we use it.

Example Flow Chart for Projecting Data

Watch the video below to see how to create flow charts in MS-PowerPoint.

Model Builder Flow Chart Symbols

Model Builder in ArcGIS uses flow chart symbols that are a little different. It's OK if your organization uses a different set than the standard but you will need to provide a legend for nonstandard symbols.

Note: There is no "start," and "end" is really "pause."

Model Builder Flow Chart Symbols

ArcMap Model Builder Example

Below is an example of a model builder type flow chart for finding the area of harvestable land. Note that these are not the actual model builder symbols because model builder adds additional symbology that you cannot turn off. This makes model builder flow charts unacceptable for publication and you really need to remake them in an application like MS-PowerPoint for publication.

ArcMap Model Builder Symbols

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