Ask: where are the world’s agricultural lands located?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, Farming and the Rural Landscape, and explore the map.

Step 2: Click on a country and reveal its pop-up.

  • Using the World Agricultural Lands legend, which countries have over 60 percent arable land?
  • Which country’s data are surprising?
  • How does Saudi Arabia increase its agricultural land?
  • Which large countries have under 15 percent arable land?
  • Why do Russia and Canada have low percentages?

Acquire: where are agricultural lands in the united states?

  • What is the percent of agricultural land in the United States?
  • How has that percentage changed over time?

Step 3: With the Details button underlined, click the button, Show Contents of Map (Content).

Step 4: Check the box to the left of the layer name, USA Land Cover (2011). Click the layer’s name to see the legend.

Step 5: Uncheck the layer, World Agricultural Lands.

  • Which colors indicate farming?

Step 6: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, United States.

  • Where are large areas of farms located?

Explore: how do rural landscapes within the united states differ?

Step 7: Click the button, Basemap. Select, Imagery.

Step 8: Turn off the layer, USA Land Cover (2011).

Step 9: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, Kansas.

  • What patterns do you observe?

Step 10: Toggle between the land cover and image layers.

  • Does the land cover map confirm agricultural land use?

Step 11: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, Louisiana.

  • Do you observe croplands that are long, rectangular shaped?

Analyze: how does land use differ between rural and urban areas?

Step 12: The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge protects 112,000 acres of forested wetlands. Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, Dismal Swamp 1.

  • The layer shows a lake in the middle and large, green areas surrounded by patches of farms.

Step 13: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, Dismal Swamp 2.

Step 14: Zoom and pan the map.

  • What do you see?

Step 15: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, Chesapeake.

  • The bookmark shows urban settlements bordering rural areas.

Act: how has human action affected rural areas?

  • How has irrigation affected rural areas?
  • What are some possible negative effects of the expansion of agriculture?
  • How are cities changing rural areas?


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Human Geography Lab Manual Copyright © by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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