Analysis of spatial pattern of settlements in the federal capital territory of Nigeria using vector-based GIS data
Human settlements are important, seemingly static but dynamic, features of the cultural landscape that have attracted several studies due to the important role they play in human life. This paper examined the spatial distribution of settlements in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria. The analysis uses vector based GIS data derived from the 1989 political map of the FCT. Map composition was done with ArcView 3.2a software and the nearest neighbour statistics was computed using the pattern analysis function of Ilwis 3.0 software. The result of the quadrat count analysis yielded a variance mean ratio of 1.34 to show that the settlements of the FCT were clustered in space as opposed to the subjective findings of some authors, which suggested that the settlements were evenly spread. Analysis of the degree of clustering reveals that 51 per cent of all settlement pair has a separation of less than four kilometres, 63 per cent has a separation of less than five kilometres, 79 per cent has less than six kilometres while 97 per cent has a separation of less then nine kilometres. It was thus found out that, for 80 per cent of all settlements in the point map, one nearest neighbour can be found within a radius of 2 kilometres. Also, for 68 per cent of the settlements, three nearest neighbours can be found while for 60 per cent of the settlements, six nearest neighbours can be found within a radius of 2 kilometres. Analysis of the distance at which neighbours could be found revealed that the probability of finding six neighbours becomes 1 at a distance of one kilometre. This indicates that, we are 100 per cent sure of finding 6 nearest neighbours within a distance of one kilometre radius on the map.