L4.07: Assignment


Scenario: For this assignment, you are a volunteer providing short-term GEOINT support to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

Task: Using ACH (see L4.05 Sensemaking), your task is to suggest the general location for a regional depot of critical emergency materials. Please note that I said general location—I do not intend for you to select the specific site for the facility. The depot is intended to provide relief support for possible regional disasters. Stocks in the depot's warehouse might include emergency food, various types of relief goods, mobile cooking facilities, rapid response equipment, medicines and medical kits.

Conditions: The location meets, as a minimum, criteria 1-4. You may wish to add an additional criterion:

  • Criterion 1: There is a significant probability of the occurrence of a disaster in the region.
  • Criterion 2: There will be significant demand for supplies based upon the site's proximity to a population in need.
  • Criterion 3: On a regional scale, the site minimizes transportation time to receive and distribute supplies.
  • Criterion 4: On a regional scale, the depot location has a minimal safety and security risk.
  • Criterion 5 (Optional): One additional criterion you determine as important.

Given: ArcGIS Online with access to the following data:

  • Three identified location names.
  • ArcGIS Online maps of natural hazards. (See Figure 4.10 below.)

You will perform the following:

Step 1: Using ArcGIS Online, explore the three identified locations listed below.

  • Site A is located in the vicinity of Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Site B is located in the vicinity of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Site C is located in the vicinity of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Step 2: Complete the below matrix (Table 4.7) using the identified locations from Step 1 and the geospatial information you can gather as evidence relative to the criteria. Using both the maps you have access to with ArcGIS Online and other relevant information you can find on the Internet, evaluate the criteria versus the locations. You will evaluate the criteria by moving across the rows, one piece of evidence at a time, and deciding whether the evidence is consistent (+), inconsistent (-), or not applicable (N/A) to the site being tested. This will help you determine if the broad range of evidence supports or refutes selecting the site.

ArcGIS Online map of natural disasters around the world.
Figure 4.10: Natural Disasters around the world.
(Click on the map above to access the interactive ArcGIS online Natural Disasters webmap.)

Step 3: Now, working down the columns of the matrix in Table 4.7, review each site to draw tentative conclusions about the relative suitability of each one. Select the site most consistent with the evidence.

Step 4: State the selected location (Site A, B, or C) to the Lesson 4 Discussion Forum and what you believe to be the nature of the event (Geophysical, Meteorological, Hydrological, Climatological, or Biological) this site would have the greatest likelihood of supporting using the appropriate terms and expressions from Table 4.8.

Step 5: Comment on another student’s analysis in the discussion forum.

Table 4.7: Evidence Versus Hypotheses
  Site A:
Lagos, Nigeria
Site B:
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Site C:
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Evidence Related to Criteria 1:
Probability of occurrence of an event.
Evidence Related to Criteria 2:
Expected demand for supplies determined by the proximity to a population.
Evidence Related to Criteria 3:
Minimal transportation time to get supplies to an event.
Evidence Related to Criteria 4:
Regional safety and security of the depot.
Other criteria and evidence you included in this analysis.      
  • State the selected site using the appropriate terms and expressions from Table 4.8, below.
  • Referring back to this lesson's discussion of ACH, describe how you applied the method.

Table 4.8: Confidence Levels
Low Moderate High
  • Uncorroborated information from good or marginal sources
  • Many assumptions
  • Mostly weak logical inferences, minimal methods application
  • Glaring intelligence gaps exist
  • Partially corroborated information from good sources
  • Several assumptions
  • Mix of strong and weak inferences and methods
  • Minimal intelligence gaps
  • Well corroborated information from proven sources
  • Minimal assumptions
  • Strong logical inferences and methods
  • No or minor intelligence gaps exist

  • Possible
  • Could, may, might
  • Cannot judge, unclear

  • Likely, unlikely
  • Probable, improbable
  • Anticipate, appear

  • Will, will not
  • Almost certainly, remote
  • Highly likely, highly unlikely
  • Expect, assert, affirm


The ArcGIS Online capabilities were developed by Joseph Kerski, Esri Education Manager.