Spatial Mapping and Analysis

This page focuses on spatial mapping and analysis, which are methods that explicitly seek to analyse and describe the spatial elements of systems. Spatial mapping is a common starting point for many social-ecological systems (SES) studies. The content on this page discusses spatial mapping and analysis, including geography, landscape ecology, remote sensing, statistics and land surveying, and gives a brief overview of relevant mapping and analytical approaches. 

The Chapter summary video gives a brief introduction and summary of this group of methods, what SES problems/questions they are useful for, and key resources needed to conduct the methods. The methods video/s introduce specific methods, including their origin and broad purpose, what SES problems/questions the specific method is useful for, examples of the method in use and key resources needed. The Case Studies demonstrate the method in action in more detail, including an introduction to the context and issue, how the method was used, the outcomes of the process and the challenges of implementing the method. The labs/activities give an example of a teaching activity relating to this group of methods, including the objectives of the activity, resources needed, steps to follow and outcomes/evaluation options.

More details can be found in Chapter 24 of the Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems.

Chapter summary:

This video introduces the concept of Spatial Mapping and Analysis.

Method Summaries

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Case Studies

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Lab teaching/ activity

Species Distribution modelling using Maxent

Species Distribution modelling using Maxent

Kavhu, B. & Pellowe, K. (2022)

Tips and Tricks

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Key Publications related to Spatial Mapping and Analysis:
  • Cumming, G.S. 2011. Spatial Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Ellis, E.C. 2011. ‘Anthropogenic Transformation of the Terrestrial Biosphere.’ Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 369: 1010 –1035.
  • Lambin, E.F., H.J. Geist, and E. Lepers. 2003. ‘Dynamics of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in Tropical Regions.’ Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28: 205–241.
  • Levin, S.A. 1992. ‘The Problem of Pattern and Scale in Ecology.’ Ecology 73: 1943 –1967.
  • Turner, M.G., R.H. Gardner, and R.V. O’Neill. 2015. Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Pattern and Process. New York: Springer.