Geoprocessing techniques and spatial/non-spatial

Problem Statement

You were hired by a recently established conservation organization called Global


onservation Initiative (GCI). GCI is working on a conservation project in Hawaii and is

interested in determining the direct environmental impacts of a development proposal

that intends to allow the expansion of urban, commercial, industrial, and agricultural

areas in the island of Hawaii. The approval of this proposal will allow the expansion of

these kinds of uses 3 miles outwards from the limit of current anthropogenic zones (i.e.

created by humans). The following list includes all the possible anthropogenic zones

found in the area:

  1. Commercial and service areas
  2. Confined feeding operations


Cropland and pastures

  1. Industrial
  2. Industrial and commercial complexes
  3. Mixed rangeland
  4. Mixed urban or built-up land
  5. Orchards, groves, vineyards, etc.
  6. Residential


Strip mines, quarries, and gravel pits

  1. Transportation and communication service


  1. Transitional areas

Fig. 1 Chasiempis ibidis


Your job is to generate a report

that assesses the potential impacts of this proposal on

the natural habitats in the study area. The direct impacts can be assessed by determining

the extent of each habitat that could be potentially affected by establishing a new

development outbound. GCI provides you with a shapefile with a series of nesting sites

of a few bird species including the species elepaios

(Chasiempis ibidis)(Fig. 1) that has

been listed as an endangered species. The report should indicate the total number of

ACTIVE Chasiempis ibidis

nesting sites that could be potentially affected by the

passing the proposal. Additionally, it should clearly show the number of Chasiempis

ibidis active nesting sites that can be found within each natural habitat that could be

potentially affected


The site contains a series of

historical land use and land cover maps for several regions of the US developed by the

United States Geological Service (USGS).In the section “Download land use and land

cover data sets using clickable image map”, download the layer that corresponds to

region of “Hawaii”:


 Create a LAB4 folder on your flash drive  and save the zip file there. Unzip it and

open the layer in ArcMap.

 On CANVAS, go to “Assignments à This file contains the shapefiles of the study area

(study_area.shp) and nesting sites of three different bird species that include

Chasiempis ibidis (nesting_sites.shp).

 Add these layers to a new map view in ArcMap. If you zoom in to the extent of

the study area, your map view should look something like this:







Processing Hints

Since both the nesting sites and land use/land cover maps comprise areas much larger

than the actual study area, we should clip both layers using the study area boundary. This

technique is usually used to reduce processing time, especially when the datasets are very


Use the clip tool under “Geoprocessing” to cut both layers to the study area’s



The input features are the features you want to cut or clip. The clip features are

the features used to cut the input features (think about clipping as using a cookie

cutter). The following example shows the clipping procedure for nesting sites.

You need to clip each layer (land use and nesting sites) one by one.

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