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Geographic Information Systems - Essay Example

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Geographical information system refers to a set of hardware, software, information, individuals organizations and institutions that are tasked with the responsibility of data collection, storage, analysis and dissemination. This data concerns areas and aspects of the world and…
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Geographic Information Systems
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Geographic Information Systems al Affiliation Geographic Information Systems Geographical information system refers toa set of hardware, software, information, individuals organizations and institutions that are tasked with the responsibility of data collection, storage, analysis and dissemination. This data concerns areas and aspects of the world and related processes. The technology has enabled people and authorities to solve problems that would otherwise be disastrous (Fu & Sun, 2011). This paper explores the application of GIS in solving an environmental problem. The paper will look at the problem and how GIS can be used to predict, identify, locate and eventually solve the problem.
The Problem
Natural catastrophes such as hurricanes can have devastating effects on the life and economic stability of any area hit. This has been experiencing more than once in America where lives and property have been lost and the government forced to spend so much on rescue and restoration mission. It is, therefore, a big relief that such a problem can be effectively solved through GIS and thus reduce the loss or avert the danger as a whole.
The Data Needed to Solve the Problem
As mentioned earlier, GIS is all about collection and use of date. To solve the problem of the hurricane, several sets of data are necessary. First, the system must indicate the kind of problem expected, the specific time and region of the target and the population involved (Fu & Sun, 2011). This information will help in setting up a response plan and help evacuate the area if possible before the problem hits. The information will also help in alerting the authorities in time for mitigation measures (Singhroy, 2003). Secondly, the problem will also require information on the accessibility of the area, geological structure, weather pattern and hence the possible route of the hurricane in relation to the prevailing winds (Goodchild, 1996).
This data is provided in the form of explained images from the system backed-up by satellite images as shown below.
Image 1. Showing the at-risk population and structures.
Image 2. Showing the direction of the winds in the area.
Image 3. Showing the actual satellite image of the coastline and the waves created.
Images retrieved from google images
In all these situations, the GIS provided vital information on the location, scale and possible effects of the hurricane on the people and the structures. Using the maps, the rescuers can locate the problem and even trace a safer route to evacuate the people and reach to them during the rescue operations (Goodchild, 1996). Further, the information also notifies the authority on the crisis that can result from the hurricane if it reaches the power plants.
I believe that the development of the GIS is a welcome technological input to solving both natural and manmade problems. Using the information so developed, the danger is either evaded or the destruction reduced.
References
Fu, P., & Sun, J. (2011). Web GIS: Principles and applications.
Goodchild, M. F. (1996). GIS and environmental modeling: Progress and research issues. Fort Collins, CO: GIS World Books.
Singhroy, V. (2003). Spatial methods for solution of environmental and hydrologic problems--science, policy, and standardization. W. Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International. Read More
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