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Exploring Africa's Physical and Cultural Geography Using ArcView

Activity 7: Fires in Africa

Instructions for Students

Goal: In this lesson you will examine the locations of fires in Africa and their impact on land use and populations.

GIS Skills Involved: Map symbolization and creating map layouts.

Materials: To complete this lesson you will need ArcView software and the Africa Lesson data (Download the Data for Activities 4-7).

Image showing locations of fires in Africa

Step 1. Let's make a map in ArcGIS showing fires in Africa. Open ArcView and click "OK" in the pop up window (this will create a new project with a new view). The next screen will ask if you would like to add data to the view. Click "Yes" and add the following shapefiles (navigate to the folder where you saved the Africa Lesson data and hold down the shift key to add more than one shapefile at a time): country.shp, popden.shp, landuse.shp, and firept.shp.

Step 2. Now let's rename the themes. Make the theme active by clicking on its name (i.e., its name appears raised). From the Theme pulldown menu choose "Properties" and change the name. Do this for all themes:

Step 3. Now let's display the Population Density theme as a Graduated Color. Double-click on the theme to bring up the Legend Editor. Select "Graduated Color" as the Legend Type, and select "Density" for the Classification Field. Select "Yellow Monochromatic" for the Color Range (see image below). Click "Apply".

Image of Population Density window

Step 4. Now let’s display the Landcover as a Unique Value. Double-click on the Landcover theme to bring up the Legend Editor. In the Legend Editor window select "Unique Value" as the Legend Type and "Zone" for the Values Field. Select "Equatorial Rainforest" for the Color Range. Click "Apply".

Step 5. Next, make the Countries theme transparent and the Fire symbols red. Open the Legend Editor for the Countries, select the paint bucket icon Paint bucket icon and select the upper left (white) box. Click "Apply". For the Fire theme, change the color of the symbol to red.

Step 6. Arrange the themes in your view window in the following order – Fire, Countries, Landcover, and Population Densities.

A) Where are most of the fires located in Africa?


B) What type of land cover are most of the fires in Africa associated with?


C) Are most of the fires in Africa located in densely populated areas?


Step 7. Create and Print 2 layouts (View —>Layout):

Save your project and exit ArcView.

*** End of Africa Activity 7 for ArcView ***


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