Activity 5.1: Making a Sector Map

Due November 29

Sector analysis assessments are recorded on a map to show impacts on the site originating from the outside.

After assessing, permaculture design seeks to channel external "energies," materials, or other impacts (wind, sun, sound, neighbors, eyesores, animal-use corridors, etc.) into or away from the system as needed.

A sector map may include the following elements:

  • Sun: Sun path charts plot the sun's elevation angle and azimuth angle over a day, as seen from a given location. The elevation angle measures the height of the sun in the sky from the horizon; it's the complement of (90 degrees minus) the zenith angle of the sun. The azimuth angle indicates the direction of the sun in the horizontal plain from a given location. North is defined to have an azimuth of 0 degrees and south has an azimuth of 180 degrees. See the University of Oregon's sun chart program:

  • Shade: This is best noted through solar site analysis/on site observation.
  • Wind: Note prevailing, seasonal patterns, key storms. Find prevailing wind data at:
  • Flood: Identify areas prone to flooding:
  • Fire: Note most dangerous from low to high elevations.
  • Noise: Consider both good and bad sources.
  • Visual: Consider both positive and negative sights and viewsheds.
  • Wildlife: Are there corridors for wildlife? Look at broadscale landscape for clues.
  • Pollution: Identify sources and sinks.
  • Traffic: Note footpaths and vehicle roads.

For this assignment follow these steps to create your draft sector map:

  1. Start with the map you created in Activity 1.1: Make a Base Map of Your Site.
  2. Place a clean piece of tracing paper over the top of your base map.
  3. Start from the center point of the site, or on an item that is most significant to the design. For example, a house may be not in the exact center of the property, but is the center or focal point.
  4. Draw a circle with a radius that falls just inside the borders of your mapped site.
  5. Visit your site to make four observations on the sun and at least three other elements listed above.
  6. Represent the observations of these elements as sectors in “pie” format on your overlay map. Show the range of elements as best as you can estimate.
  7. To complete your assignment photograph or scan this draft of your sector map and submit below.