Planning and analyzing data in an environment requires the effective use of GIS technology. The environment needs to be monitored for an effective and improved understanding of how everything runs. To achieve a piece of accurate information, valuable information, and data that can be extracted through applications of technologies such as Geographic Information Systems. The protection of the natural environment requires the successful and responsible management of the environment. Furthermore, GIS is used in the delivery of crucial information about the environment to the environmental managers and the public. Some of the applications of Geographic Information Systems in environmental management include the following;
1. Disaster management
The protection of the environment is one of the key factors that the environment management team needs to look into. However, this has been made much easier for the management because of the incorporation of a well-developed Geographic Information System. The system has become an integrated tool in mitigation and disaster management in the environment. In addition to that, using GIS technology helps in the management of risk and analysis by showing the areas that are much likely to be prone to both man-made and natural disasters. The identification of such a disaster before they occur means that preventive measures can be taken in advance.
2. Environmental Impact Analysis
The conservation of natural resources in the environment is essential for the safety of the environment. Environmental impact analysis is an initiative put in place to conserve the environment and its natural resources. Human beings engage in activities, which can at times be very harmful to the environment and can have adverse effects on the surrounding. In addition to that, environmental impact statements are essential because they contain specific information, which is required in making informed decisions about the environment. With the help of Geographic Information System, EIA can be carried out effectively and the assessment of natural resources can be done.
3. Determining land use and land cover
In this context, land use is the area, which has been specifically designed for a specific use, whereas land cover is what covers the surface of the earth. The application of Geographic Information System in this sector is that it helps in determining the changes in land use and cover in different areas. Consequently, GIS is able to detect any changes that may occur in land use or cover at a given time. Sudden changes in land use and land cover occur due to natural causes or manmade activities such as cutting down trees. This is identified by the use of GIS.
4. Managing Natural Resources
Natural resources should be managed effectively so that the people living in a country do not run out of the important resources. Forestry and agricultural sectors are some of the areas, which require maximum utilization, and management of natural resources. Through using the Geographic Information System, these sectors can be effectively managed. Foresters and agriculturalists have an easy time monitoring forests and agricultural conditions respectively. Furthermore, water is important in the environment because it has a higher percentage of what makes the environment. The geographic distribution of water resources afforestation is aided by the use of GIS.
5. Approximation of flood damage
Flood is a natural disaster that occurs at any given time, usually without human beings noticing. Disaster relief funds should be provided to take care of these natural calamities. A GIS helps with the documentation of the need for the provision of disaster relief funds. Mapping flooding risk areas helps in the evaluation of the potential level in the neighboring area. In addition to that, the damage caused by floods can be estimated and shown using digital maps.
6. Irrigation Management
Plants and crops cannot do well in areas where there is no adequate supply of water. This makes the water very essential in the irrigation process. A farm will experience an increase in crop production because there is readily available water for irrigation purposes. Misuse of water can be a disadvantage to a farmer because he or she will experience a huge reduction and loss in crop production. Using data, which has been stored in the Geographic Information System, water can be efficiently and effectively managed for proper use in the irrigation process.
7. Mapping of Wetlands
Wetlands are important and essential because it helps the environment during dry seasons. Wetlands contribute to the healthiness of an environment because it retains an adequate amount of water during dry seasons, making this function important in retaining a high and stable water table. A wetland is also important during floods because it reduces the level of floods and traps suspended soils together with nutrients that have been attached to it. The application of Geographic Information System in this sector helps in the provision of various options for wetland mapping and design projects, which are used in the conservation of wetlands. Additionally, the integration of remote sensing technology helps in the completion of wetland mapping.
8. Identifying volcanic hazards
Volcanic hazards are a disaster, which occurs mainly in the volcanos, some of which include flooding and lava flow. Identifying a volcanic hazard zone can be difficult, especially if one has no idea of the land in question and has no access to the history of a particular place. A volcanic hazard zone can be recognized by going through the past records of volcanic activities, and this can be effectively done when Geographic Information System is incorporated.
9. Soil mapping
Identifying the soil of a particular area helps in the provision of resource information about that particular area. Determining the suitability of soil is also important because it helps one in determining the kind of activity that can take place in that specific area. Misusing of land is where land is used for a purpose other than that which it is intended. This makes soil mapping important because it helps in the prevention of environmental deterioration, which is associated with misusing land. The incorporation of the Geographic Information System is essential because it helps in identifying the different types of soils in a particular area. In addition to that, it also helps in defining soil boundaries. The identification and classification of soil are also done using GIS. Farmers in developed countries do the retention of soil nutrients, and they use soil mapping to arrive at an informed decision.