Mapping Deforestation in Malawi

With a population exceeding 18 million and an area about the size of Ohio, Malawi’s natural areas are constantly threatened. In the area surrounding Thuma and Dedza-Salima Forest Reserves, charcoal burners have depleted forests as agriculture and settlements have expanded.

I made a series of maps for Wildlife Action Group based out of the forest reserves, and created the one below in conjunction with my cartography class. Inspired by the method outlined in Raposo et al. (2017) I used ArcGIS Model Builder to create a process that first reclassified the images to three classes: forest, agriculture, and everything else.  The model then simplified these classes by a series of shrinking, expanding, resampling, and finally creating a gradient that smoothly transitioned colors at the edges of each class Afterwards, I used a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator to overlay the images onto the hillshades I created and arrange the final layout.

Zoellmer Thuma Dedza 1990 and 2010 Landcover 11x17 small locator 4 30 2018.jpg