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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-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-11 - GIS&T and the Digital Humanities

This entry reviews the use of GIS&T in the digital humanities and in the spatial humanities, highlighting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations between GIScientists and humanities scholars, including in history, archeology, and literary studies. Challenges are highlighted as well, including epistemological and ontological differences between the spatial, abstract, and quantitative view of the world of GIS&T and GIScience and the humanities emphasis on place and qualitative methods. The potential of mixed methods to bring together different epistemological perspectives is discussed in this context. Scale is identified as a promising geographical framework for humanities research, both in its metaphorical aspects and as intended in cartography. Examples of the use of GIS&T and GIScience in the humanities are provided, including historical GIS, geohistorical gazetteers, archeology and GIS, and GIS in literary studies. The entry is framed historically, with reference to the work of Bakhtin, Braudel, and Hägerstrand, who are early influencers of the spatial turn in the humanities. Among the research directions briefly explored are the GIS of place, deep maps, and qualitative GIS, which exemplify how the collaboration between GIScience and the humanities can be strengthened.

DA-37 - GIS&T and Epidemiology

Location plays an important role in human health. Where we live, work, and spend our time is associated with different exposures, which may influence the risk of developing disease. GIS has been used to answer key research questions in epidemiology, which is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease. These research questions include describing and visualizing spatial patterns of disease and risk factors, exposure modeling of geographically varying environmental variables, and linking georeferenced information to conduct studies testing hypotheses regarding exposure-disease associations. GIS has been particularly instrumental in environmental epidemiology, which focuses on the physical, chemical, biological, social, and economic factors affecting health. Advances in personal exposure monitoring, exposome research, and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the way GIS can be integrated with epidemiology to study how the environment may impact human health.

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.