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.
AM-04 - Overlay
Overlay operation is a critical and powerful tool in GIS that superimposes spatial and attribute information from various thematic map layers to produce new information. Overlay operations facilitate spatial analysis and modeling processes when being used with other spatial operations (e.g. buffer, dissolve, merge) to solve real-world problems. For both vector and raster data models, the input layers need to be spatially aligned precisely with each other to ensure a correct overlay operation. In general, vector overlay is geometrically and computationally complex. Some most used vector overlay operations include intersection, union, erase, and clip. Raster overlay combines multiple raster layers cell by cell through Boolean, arithmetic, or comparison operators. This article provides an overview of the fundamentals of overlay operations, how they are implemented in vector and raster data, and how suitability analysis is conducted.