Benefits of GIS (part 2): Resources and land management
May 19, 2015, by Alex Yuruts
Remote Sensing: No fieldwork, just the insights
What is remote sensing?
In the past, getting accurate measurements for geographic maps included arduous fieldwork that was costly and time consuming. Today, a common way of acquiring such information is to make use of remote sensing. Remote sensing is a way to acquire geographic information without physical contact, usually using aerial sensor technologies. There are two main types of sensors: active and passive. Active sensors use signals that are emitted from aircrafts or satellites, whereas passive sensors record information from natural radiation such as sunlight.
How is it useful?
Remote sensing can obtain information quickly and accurately, especially compared to fieldwork and other types of measurements.
We often use remote sensing data to help our clients. One of such projects was a local municipal department that wanted a better way to assess the health of vegetation within their jurisdiction. Intetics analyzed remote sensing data and programmed the evaluation criteria for the health of the environment. Having maps of the area helped the municipality understand which areas needed immediate attention. They could now create better, actionable plans. Similarly, another client uses their maps created from remote sensing data to analyze and monitor land use.
Working with remote sensing data can result in effectively organizing spatial information. Essentially, it helps use the insights in daily decisions.
Integrating open-source GIS: Customization and cost-efficiency
Open-source GIS (geographic information systems) are a set of technologies that are free to use by anyone. Since proprietary GIS tools can get expensive, using open source can be a great option for organizations that are looking to maximize cost efficiency and still map their processes, resources and information. These technologies are also a great way to customize products and to reduce maintenance costs.
How is it used?
While using open-source can costs less, working with open source GIS tools requires knowledge of the programs. Because of its cost and maintenance advantages, we incorporate open source GIS tools when possible and desirable to achieve the best solution. A very unique project we worked on was for a local national park. The national park needed a new web and mobile application to monitor the legal and illegal uses of the national park’s resources – up till then they had their inspectors collect information on paper and manually input the information into their database. The national park saw the time benefits of creating a custom application for their land monitoring, but understandably they wanted to create a cost-efficient and long-lasting solution. We used open source GIS tools and integrated them with their existing databases, so that they could easily edit and track the conditions of their resources (such as fences, roads etc). The result was an application that helped inspectors track the condition of the national park on-the-go.
If you’d like to find out more about these methods, feel free to contact us.
Or come visit our stand B11 at GEO Business Show 2015 on May 27th and May 28th to chat about GIS benefits for resource management.
Benefits of GIS (part 1): Improving urban planning and public services
Intetics experience with open source GIS (download)
Growing popularity of LBS applications
Image via Flickr. Distributed under Creative Commons License 2.0. No changes made.
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