AI-2: Mapping Terrain

AI-2: Mapping Terrain

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

Climate & Environment

Computer Science

Introduction to AI concepts, Lesson 2

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

November 6, 2020


  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

Learning Objectives

  • In this lesson the students will learn:
  • How to gather and prepare a photographic data for a dataset.
  • The use of machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies in geographical data.
  • The concept and application of unsupervised machine learning (optional).

Guiding Ideas


Tell the students: they have been sent on an expedition, with a crew of researchers, engineers, and scientists, to fly over a remote forest and take photos of the terrain below. These photos will be used to code a dataset that will then be used by an AI, which uses unsupervised machine learning, to monitor and find different areas where illegal logging is occurring or areas of forest that have tree diseases. The AI uses unsupervised machine learning to get an idea of, with a large number of pictures, what the forests should normally look like. The AI then locates these troubled areas by analysing a dataset, made from the large number of pictures, looking for abnormal differences: coloration, the increase of sizes of desolate places, migrating animals… As the AI locates these different areas, conservation efforts can be directed there to help the delicate ecological systems in those places.

A partner called Terrafuse is using AI to keep track of areas that have had forest fires or areas that are showing signs of possible forest fires occurring. Which can greatly help lessen the impact of them. For more information on their activities, click the link below:


Student Activities

ACTIVITIES: 30 minutes

Activity 1: Flying high.

Activity 2: Mapping everything out.

Activity 3: Detecting anomalies.

Activity 4: Problem solving.

Performance Expectations


Ask the students about the skills that they have learned during the lesson, to reinforce the concepts.

1. How does the AI find different areas where illegal logging or forest disease has occurred?

Answer: The AI looks for differences between how the forest looks normally and when discrepancies appear. Such as tree diseases and illegal logging.


2. Why is it important to detect places where illegal logging is occurring?

Answer: It is important to maintain and preserve the ecosystems of forests before they are disrupted to much.




  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking