Biodiversity and Protected Areas
In this assignment you will combine your ArcGIS
training, analytical skills and a little creativity, to address a global change
problem with specific objectives. You will conduct a systematic analysis of the
necessary data elements, and present the results in a logical, well-designed
and professional report.
Imagine that you are an international environmental
consultant for the largest multinational development institution, the World
Bank. You have been contracted on an important project because of your sharp
analytical skills and experience with geographical information systems (GIS) in
analyzing spatial data. You are given an assignment and will use ArcGIS and a global database to produce an accurate and
comprehensive report. This report will form the basis of decisions made by an
executive council, which is relying on the timely submission of your work.
Failure to produce this information punctually will result in your immediate
termination as a consultant with the World Bank, ending a very promising
The World Bank, under pressure from several nations and in
response to the outcry of many environmental organizations, is considering
proposals for funding the establishment of protected areas (e.g. ecological
reserves, national parks, natural heritage regions).
The geographic regions under review for this program are:
- Eastern Africa
- Western Africa
- Central America
- Southern Asia
- Southeastern Asia
You have been asked to select one of these regions and
produce a report determining which four countries therein are the best
candidates for conservation funds. Funding priority will be assigned to
percentage of total land area protected
percent loss of forest habitat
number of total plant species
density of threatened bird and mammal species
percentage of critically threatened biome
In addition, the executive council overseeing this funding
allocation would like the countries to be representative of the region as a
whole. The recommended countries should therefore be geographically
dispersed, rather than clumped together.
Although the five criteria are listed in order of
importance, as determined by the executive council, it is your job to develop a
systematic method for ranking the countries in order of conservation
importance. For example, you must decide if highest priority should be given to
countries that possess a combination of the above criteria, or if it is more
important to choose the most worthy country with respect to each criterion. You
must also decide how to evaluate the importance of each country’s geographic
The executive committee has little time to spend reading
your report, so it must be concise and organized, yet rich with information and
graphically appealing. Use descriptive, properly labeled maps wherever possible
to support your conclusions and recommendations. You are also encouraged to
supplement your maps with charts that depict the variations among the countries
in your region.
For the region of your choice, you must deliver the
cover sheet / title page with a map illustrating the location of
the region within the continent, and a listing of the countries under
written report of 2-4 double-spaced pages (12 point type) stating the four
countries that you recommend for funding, as well as a detailed
explanation of the methods and ranking system you used to select those countries,
a description of each country’s primary attributes, and a conclusion
summarizing your findings.
least five maps and/or charts derived from the ArcGIS
data set showing, for each criterion, the relative ranking of the recommended
countries in relation to other countries in the region. These figures must be
referenced in the body of the main report (e.g. “see Figure 1”) and will serve
to illustrate your analysis and conclusions. Each figure should be saved in an ArcGIS map layout and must be numbered (e.g. Figure
All of the above components must be integrated into a
professional report. All charts must have titles, appropriate legends, labeled
axes and referencing labels (e.g. Figure 1. Map of…). All maps must have
titles, appropriate legends, country labels (when appropriate), and referencing
labels. All maps and charts should be limited to the region of interest.
Your report will be evaluated on your ability to:
the appropriate datasets (themes) and variables (fields) from the ArcGIS database to make recommendations based on the
and justify a systematic methodology for analyzing the data
spatial data using the appropriate ArcGIS
maps and charts that graphically illustrate your conclusions; and
a clear and concise professional report
are a number of different themes that you can use to gather information
from in the ArcGIS database. Recommended themes
to explore include: Biomes, Biodiversity, Forest Ecosystems, Urbanization, and Demographics.
In addition, you can use relevant ArcGIS
information gathered from appropriate websites such as:
- Use attribute tables to your advantage.
Right-click on your theme and select open attribute table. Right-click on
the field name of interest to sort in ascending or descending order, or to
summarize or calculate values for the field. Click on the options button
at the bottom of the table to view other options. You can insert tables
into layouts or select by attribute to find a particular variable of
the dot legend type and overlays.
For the dot legend, choose 1 dot= 1 (threatened species). This means that
for every dot that you see on the map it represents one species threatened
with extinction. Make sure that your background symbol is transparent.
Overlay this dot map on another map of your choosing to create data rich
- Create more than one data frame.
This process facilitates examining multiple maps concurrently. Choose
Insert and select New Data Frame. Click on the new data frame and rename
it. Next, click on the theme of
interest in the original data frame and drag it down into the new data
frame. Deactivate the original theme. Open the layer properties window of
the theme in the new data frame. Next, select View à
Layout View. The themes that are active in each data frame should be
visible in the middle of the layout page. Next, resize both frames so they
are the same size and do not overlap on the page. Use the Zoom tool to
enlarge the maps inside the layout frame box. Next, set the map projection of the new frame so that the new
frame can have the same projection with the Inquiries In Global Change frame.
Right-click on the new data-frame and choose properties from the
menu. Select the Coordinate System
tab, and in the box showing the coordinate system trees, click the
following links to find the coordinates system desired: Predefined >
Projected Coordinate System > World > Flat Polar Quartic
(world). Click OK. You will get a warning but just click on the Yes
button. The new data frame map should change shape to match the Inquiries In
Global Change data frame map.
- Make queries and label country names
on your map. Open the layer properties and select Definition Query.
Use the Query Builder and select a region to explore. Create a query
equation for the region you want to examine. For example, to examine
Western Africa, your query definition should read: [REGION] = 'Western Africa'. To add country names labels to your
map, under the Labels tab, click the check box for Label features in the
layer (near the top of the window). Label your field by NAME. This will
label all countries on your queried map.
- Insert charts into your layouts. Change
your view to the Layout view. Right-click on the theme of your interest
and select open attribute table. At the bottom of the attribute table
select the options button. Under options, choose create graph and a new
graph wizard window should open. Select the chart type that you wish to
use, such as a column graph. Select next once you have selected your graph
type. Next, the layer should be the theme name of the attribute table you
selected to open. In the box, click
the check box of the name of the theme that you want to graph. Make sure
all other name are unchecked. Click on the next
button. Choose an appropriate name for your graph and change the Title.
You may also want to include a subtitle.
Check the label X Axis with box and select NAME to see the names of
each country in your region on the chart.
Click the Label Data With Value box, as
well as the Show Legend box. Next, click on the Show Graph on Layout box.
Click on the Advanced options button to add
titles to your horizontal and vertical axes. Click on Finish to return to
your layout. In your layout window resize your graph. For an example see
jpeg pictures. Copy each theme of interest and paste them at the top
of the theme column. This way you will still have a copy of the original
theme when you create your query maps. Turn off the original themes. For
each of the new themes double-click on the theme and open the layer
properties. Select the Definition Query tab for each theme and build a
query using the Query Builder. By doing this, the map can be limited to
the region of interest. Go to View à Layout to see your map.
Once you have added a legend, title, etc. to the map, go to File à
Export. Under List Files of Type: choose JPEG. Choose a place to save your
map and give it an appropriate filename. Once you have saved your map open
up the JPEG to check the map.
Adding charts to layouts
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