GEOG 487
Environmental Applications of GIS

Lesson 5 Overview


Lesson 5 Overview


You have been hired by a local landowner to calculate the carbon sequestration potential of a small forested area in southeastern Michigan. You know it is possible to estimate carbon values using measurements of tree height and diameter. After an initial site visit to the property, you determine it will be too costly and time consuming to measure every single tree on the property. Given these limitations, you decide to use a representative sample to estimate values for the entire forest. After setting up a sampling plan, you collect information in the field for 18 sample areas. After returning to the office, you enter your data into two CSV files, one with tree measurements and plot identification numbers and another with plot GPS coordinates. You get to use ArcGIS and the Spatial Analyst extension to create a plot shapefile from your tabular data and interpolate your sample data for the entire forest.


At the successful completion of Lesson 5, you will have:

  • created shapefiles from tabular GPS data;
  • interpolated point data to raster grids;
  • customized the Spatial Analyst environment settings.


If you have questions now or at any point during this lesson, please feel free to post them to the Lesson 5 Discussion.