GIS and the Environment
GIS means Geographic Information Systems. It is a potent tool for environmental data analysis and planning. Through the application of GIS technologies, the environment can be monitored for an effective and improved understanding of its physical features and the factors that influence certain environmental conditions.
GIS helps in identifying the impact of human behavior on natural resources and leads to more effective utilization and understanding of these factors. Data about natural resources could be collected through remote sensing, aerial photography, or satellite imagery and then they are mapped using GIS technology.
In order to plan and monitor the environmental problems, some of the ways GIS is used in environmental management include:
- Identification of contamination sources, assessing environmental constraints, and evaluating proposed highway alignment alternatives.
- Assessment of hazards and risks for effective disaster management and protection of the environment by showing the areas that are much more likely to be prone to both man-made and natural disasters.
- Discovering how natural atmospheric processes might affect global warming and climate change.
- Evaluation of flood damage by mapping core risk areas for documentation and provision of disaster relief funds.
- Soil Mapping for prevention of environmental deterioration due to land misuse. Farmers in developed countries can use this to determine the suitability of soil and the extent of soil nutrients.
In summary, GIS is used in the delivery of crucial information about the environment to the environmental managers and the public with the intent that such information should be applied for the betterment of the environment. GIS provides an ideal atmosphere for professionals to analyze data, apply models, and make the best decisions.