UNIT 51 - GIS APPLICATION AREAS

UNIT 51 - GIS APPLICATION AREAS

Compiled with assistance from David Cowen, University of South Carolina and Warren Ferguson, Ferguson Cartotech


For Information that Supplements the Contents of this Unit:

Cartography Resources on the Web (Virtual Library) -- NOAA homepage; terrain mapping; educational cartography resource and site; digital relief and elevation; desktop mapping; etc.
Online Resourses for Earth Sciences (ORES) (B.Thoen) -- Resources by subject (e.g.digital data, forestry, mapping): resource references; FAQs; URL examples.
Resources for Geographers (U of Western Ontario) -- GIS; remote sensing; USG; other geospatial sites.
GIS (from USGS) -- What is a GIS? How does a GIS work? What's special about a GIS? Applications of GIS.
GIS Application Areas(Geographer's Craft) -- Natural resources management; facilities management; land management; street networks.
Applied Environmental GIS (AEGIS) -- Projects which address a variety of environmental issues in which GIS solutions are appropriate; sample images (e.g. fire hazard, soil permeability).
Current GIS Market -- Important issues (e.g. data structure, database management, functions/operations); GIS World Chart and unaddressed issues; object oriented programming; etc.
International GIS and Remote Sensing Services -- Arc/Info tutorial; Digital Land Systems Research (DLSR); Environmental Resource Information Network (ERIN); Environmental Systems Resource Institute (ESRI); European Science Foundation (GIS data program); IDRISI homepage.
GIS/Remote Sensing Publications Online
Remote sensing -- GIS and other related fields; organizations; satellite data; sites; etc.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) -- Global resource information database; environmental data sets, including: biodiversity, human-related; soils; vegetation.


  • A. INTRODUCTION
  • B. CARTOGRAPHY
  • C. SURVEYING AND ENGINEERING
  • D. REMOTE SENSING
  • E. SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
  • REFERENCES
  • EXAM AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • NOTES

    This begins a 6 part section which reviews the spectrum of different applications of GIS. We have tried to include examples from all the areas in which GIS is currently actively employed. You may want to rearrange, enhance or revise major portions of these units to suit the needs and interests of your students.

    UNIT 51 - GIS APPLICATION AREAS

    Compiled with assistance from David Cowen, University of South Carolina and Warren Ferguson, Ferguson Cartotech

    A. INTRODUCTION

    Functional classification

    GIS as a decision support tool

    Core groups of GIS activity

    B. CARTOGRAPHY

    Computers in cartography

    Organizations

    Adoption

    C. SURVEYING AND ENGINEERING

    Recent advances in technology

    Characteristics of application area

    Organizations

    D. REMOTE SENSING

    Characteristics of application area

    Organizations

    E. SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

    Analogy to statistical packages

    Characteristics of application area

    Organizations

    REFERENCES

    Abler, R.F., 1987. "Awards, rewards and excellence: keeping geography alive and well," Professional Geographer 40:135-40. Source of the reference in Section E.

    Bylinsky, Gene, 1989. "Managing with electronic maps," Fortune, April, 1989. Important popular review of GIS as a decision tool.

    EXAM AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1. Some have argued that the best way to classify GIS applications is through the data they use. How would the results differ from the taxonomy proposed in this Unit?

    2. What significant groups are missing from this taxonomy of GIS applications? What areas of application might develop in the future?

    3. Do you accept the analogy between GIS and statistical packages presented in this Unit? In the long term, which would you expect to have the more significant role in supporting scientific activity? Why?

    4. Which branches of science would have most use for a GIS as an enabling technology? Which would have least use for it?

    5. It has been argued that GIS is an extremely dangerous tool in epidemiology, because of its potential for identifying all sorts of spurious correlations between environmental factors and the occurrence of disease. Do you agree, and if so, what steps would you recommend to reduce the potential for misuse?


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