The Use of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System in Land Use Management in Karu, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

 – The Use of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System in Land Use Management in Karu, Nasarawa State, Nigeria – 

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The purpose of this research is to apply Remote Sensing and GIS in land use management of Greater Karu Urban Area, Nasarawa State. Specific objectives are to; create land use/cover map of the study area from 1972 to 2012,

determine the rate and magnitude of change, determine the suitability of the land for different uses and determine the extent of encroachment into the approved setback areas. Landsat MSS, TM, ETM and Spot-5 satellite imagery of 1972, 1987, 2000 and 2012 were used.

A supervised classification approach using ILWIS 3.3 version was also used. Six categories of land use/cover types were generated as follow: built up areas, water bodies, agricultural land, vegetation, rock out crops and bare surfaces.

Euclidean distance and weighted overlay from spatial analyst tool of ArcGIS 9.3 software was used for the suitability analysis using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis and Analytical Hierarchical Process.

The guidelines in line with Land Use Act Cap 202 of 1990 and the Nigeria Urban and Regional planning Act of 1990 to monitor and control all developments approved setbacks was adopted.

Results from the analysis revealed the Increase in built up area resulted to changes in other land use/cover categories between 1972 and 2012 as follow: natural vegetation has drastically decline from 68.9% to 52.9% between 1972 and 1987. 


Land is the foundation of all forms of human activity. From its humans obtain the food, shelter and the space to work and relax. Land is amongst man’s most valuable resources. It is a means of life on which our continued existence and progress depends (Dale, Peter and John, 1988).

Land is man’s most valuable resource. It is the means of life without which he could never have existed and on which his continued and progress depend.

Land is a term with many meanings. To the physical geographer it is a landscape produced from natural processes, the product of geological and geomorphologic process.

To the economist it is a resource which along with capital and labour is to be exploited in order to achieve economic production and development or conserved to guarantee future biodiversity.

To the lawyer land is a volume of space stretching notionally from the centre of the earth to the infinite in the sky, and associated with it are a variety of rights which determine what may be done with it. To many it is simply the space for human activities as reflected in the many different forms of land use.

FAO (1976) defined land as a delineable area of the earth’s terrestrial surface, involving all attributes of the biosphere immediately above or below this surface.


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CSN Team.

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