Fires in Africa: Investigations with GIS

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Fires_in_Africa_Investigations_with_GIS Download
File Size:
5.49 MB
File Type:
GIS Level:
  • Intermediate
Geographic Scale:
  • National
Target Audience:
  • Higher Ed

Goal: To use GIS and the spatial framework to analyze the pattern of human-set fires in Africa, and by extension, to understand the physical and cultural geography of Africa, and how to analyze spatial data. Audience: Students working through this lesson should be familiar with computer file management, and some familiarity with ArcGIS will be helpful. Academic Level: This lesson is aimed at the university level, although more advanced students at the secondary level will be able to use it. Time Required: This lesson contains 30 questions and requires 2 to 4 hours to complete. Geospatial Skills 1) Tabular data joining, sort, query, and analysis. 2) Spatial data sort, query, and analysis. 3) Labeling, symbolizing, and classifying data. 4) Making a decision in a GIS environment. People set fires in Africa and elsewhere around the world to create and maintain farmland and grazing areas. People use fire to keep less desirable plants from invading cropland or rangeland, to drive grazing animals away from areas more desirable for farming, to remove crop stubble and return nutrients to the soil, and to convert natural ecosystems to agricultural land. In Africa, the area burned shifts from north to south over the course of the year, in step with the coming and going of Africa’s rainy and dry seasons.

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