Domain Applications

The Domain Applications knowledge area focuses on the linkages between the foundational GIS&T competencies found in other components of the Body of Knowledge and their implementation across a wide range of application areas, highlighting their scope and depth and providing evaluation of their impacts. This Knowledge Area is new and therefore was not part of the first GIS&T Body of Knowledge, published in 2006. 

Entries that have been completed are in bold. Forthcoming, future topics are italicized

If you’d like to propose an entry on a topic missing from the list, please contact the GIS&T BoK Project Manager, Diana Sinton (dsinton@ucgis.org). 

Agriculture Forestry Real Estate
Archaeology Geodesign Recreation Planning & Management
Architecture Humanitarian Mapping Retail Business
Civil Engineering Hydrology and Hydraulics Telecommunications
Climate Studies & Atmospheric Science   Urban & Regional Planning
Commercial Business Insurance Utilities
Computational Geography International Affairs Water Resources
Conservation Land Administration Wildlife & Fisheries Science and Management
Criminal Justice / Law Enforcement Landscape Architecture  
Digital Humanities Landscape Ecology  
Earth Science Research Libraries, Archives, and Museums  
Economic Development Local Government  
Ecosystem Science & Management    
Education Geospatial Intelligence & National Security  
Emergency Response Marine Science  
Energy Development Marketing  
Environmental Science & Management Natural Resource Management  
Epidemiology Public Health  
Facilities Management Public Policy  

 

DA-30 - GIS&T and Landscape Ecology

Landscape ecology is a transdisciplinary science dedicated to the study of the interactions among landscape heterogeneity, humans, and natural system. Since its inception in the mid-20th Century, landscape ecology has been strongly intertwined with spatial technologies, from aerial photography to modern space-borne sensors. Satellite-based remote sensing is among the primary data sources for contemporary landscape ecology analysis, while geographic information systems provide tools to analyze the spatial configurations of satellite derived classifications, simulate landscapes and species distributions, quantify landscape change, and elucidate the reciprocal relationship between spatial patterns and ecological processes. Additionally, global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS, augment these datasets and may be used for data collection to aid landscape ecology research. Emerging geospatial technologies, such as unoccupied aerial systems and micro- and nanosatellites, also have a role to play in landscape ecology.

DA-31 - GIS&T and Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) are an important part of the GIS&T ecosystem and they engage in numerous activities that are critical for students, researchers, and practitioners. Traditionally these organizations have been at the forefront of developing infrastructures and services that connect researchers and others to historical and contemporary GIS data, including print maps. More recently, as a result of greater interest in spatial thinking and research, these organizations and institutions have become a place for instruction, outreach, and practice. This entry will discuss the historical role that LAMs have played in supporting and developing GIS&T as well as focus on current trends.

DA-05 - GIS&T and Local Government

GIS is an important tool for local governments. It is utilized to provide spatial information, metrics, and visualizations to constituents, businesses, and decision-makers. Internally, a well-managed GIS can be the basis for innovation and process improvement and can be a single source for employees to find a plethora of integrated data. This entry discusses how GIS supports local government, important considerations for maintaining a successful local government GIS, and current trends. This entry is based on the author’s experience in a GIS program at a medium-sized city in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. Not everything discussed may apply to other areas of the country or world. Additionally, smaller-sized programs may not have the resources to implement everything discussed. The key purpose of this entry is to provide students and instructors with tangible examples of processes, skills, and organizational structures that make for an effective local government GIS.

DA-23 - GIS&T and Marine Science

Image courtesy of the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board

 

GIS&T has traditionally provided effective technological solutions to the integration, visualization, and analysis of heterogeneous, georeferenced data on land. In recent years, our ability to measure change in the ocean is increasing, not only because of improved measuring devices and scientific techniques, but also because new GIS&T is aiding us in better understanding this dynamic environment. The domain has progressed from applications that merely collect and display data to complex simulation, modeling, and the development of new research methods and concepts.

DA-24 - GIS&T and Marketing

Marketing is about communicating, delivering, and exchanging goods and services that are desired by customers, clients, and the public alike. They identify the groups the enterprise is striving to serve, developing offerings which match their needs, and establishing exchange relationships which satisfy those needs while accomplishing enterprise objectives of profit, service and/or social impact. Marketers use their planning processes to scan the relevant environment for opportunities, select target markets with unmet or insufficiently met needs, and design marketing mix strategies to serve them. In all of these activities, the qualitative and quantitative measures of location and geography are key.  Delivery of marketing mix strategies relies on tasks such as marketing research, market segmentation and customer profiling, all of which GIS supports.  In addition, specialized marketing functions and emerging technologies also benefit from location analytics resources. 

DA-32 - GIS&T and Natural Resource Management

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a geospatial technology that has matured with the help of natural resource management applications. Since its early beginnings as an extension of cartography, GIS has been used to capture, manipulate, store, analyze and manage data. GIS has matured as additional sciences began to adopt and apply it to multidisciplinary problems. In the mid-90s, much of the emphasis moved to desktop GIS making the access and use more mainstream and capable on personal desktop computers. Government agencies with more available and distributed datasets through the internet enabled more applications and use across disciplines because of the access. Soil scientists, wildlife biologists, hydrologists, engineers, planners, and others could now pursue spatial problems efficiently and effectively. More and more advances were being made in the sciences due to the new technology. The following discussion will focus on the use and applications of GIS for natural resource management. Areas covered in this review will be for forestry, watershed analysis, wildlife management, and landscape analysis. First a background of the applications will be introduced followed by a discussion of their applicability and uses.

DA-35 - GIS&T and Public Health

Contemporary environmental problems, global climate change, globalization, and urbanization have imposed severe impacts on human health. Meanwhile, disparity became a major concern in healthcare policy making and resource allocation. Within this context, GIS have been rapidly expanding and deepening their applications in the domain of public health. GIS applications in public health can be classified into three broad categories: 1) spatial/spatiotemporal modeling of specific diseases, including chronic diseases and communicable diseases, as well as their associations with environmental risks; 2) spatial/spatiotemporal modeling of environmental exposures from physical, behavioral, and/or socioeconomic environments; and 3) studies on healthcare services, including assessment of geographic access to healthcare facilities, investigation of disparity in the access, and optimization of resource allocation. The boundaries between these divisions are not clear-cut. Meanwhile, applications in public health have also been pushing the frontiers of GIS research on spatiotemporal modeling, high-performance computing, uncertainty, big data of human mobility, and geospatial privacy.

DA-36 - GIS&T and Public Policy

Public policy is the formal and informal guiding principles that are used by governments and other decision-making entities to guide our everyday lives. Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) has had an impact on the public policy process since GIS&T’s earliest beginnings in the 1960s. Advances in the development and availability of both geospatial technology and geospatial data paralleled a growing use of data-driven rational planning and decision-making models in policy making at all levels of government. Today more than ever, successful public policy depends on high-quality data and the technology that communicates its meaning effectively. Beyond the rational application of scientific or systematic methods, public policy is about values and how values affect, and are affected by, policies. This requires delivery of credible information in a transparent, understandable form not only to decision makers responsible for adopting policy, but also to various categories of stakeholders whose behavior will be impacted in some way by the policy’s implementation. GIS&T continues to play an important role in that endeavor, including making value conflicts more seeable and knowable. Included in the entry is a summary of the public policy process and its participants, followed by a brief overview of how GIST’s role in public policy has evolved over the last 50 years. The entry concludes by outlining a sample of real-world applications and presenting a discussion of related issues and future considerations.

DA-10 - GIS&T and Real Estate

Real Estate GIS concerns all dimensions of real estate that can be better understood or operationalized by knowing its geospatial context. Improving real estate decisions via GIS and related geospatial technologies is now expected by management of all industries, as well as home-renters and home-buyers in the residential market. Real Estate GIS Specialists are individuals who have applied knowledge and skills across the disciplines of business geography, the practice of real estate, and the application of geospatial technologies to support decision making in this realm. There is a good reason why the mantra of “location, location, location” is a long-standing tenet within the business of real estate.

DA-39 - GIS&T and Recreation Planning and Management

Human interactions with each other and the environment are intrinsically connected to the opportunities and limitations of where we live and where we are able to go. The connections between places of origin, destinations, and travel routes mean that recreation and tourism inherently rely on spatial concepts of place and human-environment interactions. Tourism and recreation are major economic drivers, yet these sectors are constantly evolving as people embrace different ways to travel and recreate and environmental and socio-economic conditions change. Advances in GIS technology and computing ability are shaping the questions asked and tools used by researchers to understand the drivers and impacts of recreation. In this entry, we highlight current research and approaches used to characterize access to green spaces in urban areas, to understand recreational behaviors and tourist preferences through social media, to map landscape aesthetics and cultural ecosystem services, and to quantify the impacts of tourism and recreation on protected areas. Starting with urban areas and local extents and moving to protected areas and regional processes, we summarize scholarship focused on different types of places and occurring across different extents and scales to provide a digest of current research.

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