Making decisions for rational, sustainable land use is becoming increasingly complex as land pressure and the competition for land, and extent of land degradation problems increase. The information and knowledge required for these decisions should be based on comprehensive and quantified assessments of potentials and development possibilities of the land resources, taking into account the biophysical, environmental, socioeconomic factors, as well as the space and time dimensions of sustained land use. For a sustainable land use plan, nowadays, land use planning requires more and more data integration, multi-disciplinary and complex analysis, and needs faster or more precise information. Certainly, GIS, which has a strong capacity in data integration and analysis and visualization, become the main tool to support land use planning approaches. A land use map prepared in a GIS environment is depicted in Fig. 1.2. The outputs from such assessments are required by land use planners, ecologists, economists, environmentalists, researchers, agronomists, and other land users, corresponding to various areas of applications such as land suitability and land productivity assessment, participatory land use planning, land
FIGURE 1.2 GIS Application in Land Use Classification.
degradation assessment, urban sprawl estimation, assessment of urban heat islands, network analysis, population estimation and distribution, flooding assessment, land use/land cover change detection, land evaluation, urban model development feasibility, Land-use Conflict Identification (LUCIS) model, Cloud computing[en dash]based land base mapping, open street map, 3D viewshed, space syntax models, quantification of land resources constraints, optimal resources planning, land management, agricultural technology transfer, agricultural inputs recommendations, farming systems analysis and development, environmental impact assessment, monitoring land resources development, agro-ecological characterization for research planning, agro-economic zoning for land development and nature conservation, and ecosystem research and management.
The application of GIS has relevance to transportation due to the spatially distributed nature of transportation related data, and the need for various types of network level analysis, statistical analysis, spatial analysis, and manipulation. Its graphical display capabilities allow not only visualization of the different routes but also the sequence in which they are built, which allows the understanding of the logic behind the routing network design. At a GIS platform, the transport network database is generally extended by integrating many sets of its attribute and spatial data through its linear referencing system. In addition to this, GIS will facilitate integration of all other socioeconomic data with transport network database for wide variety of planning functions. The use of GIS for transportation applications is widespread (Fig. 1.3). Typical applications include highway maintenance, traffic modelling.
FIGURE 1.3 GIS Application in Transportation Network Studies.
accident analysis, route planning and environmental impact assessment of road schemes, whereas potential applications for GIS in transportation planning and management system are Transportation System Management (TSM), travel demand forecasting, pavement management, traffic engineering, planning and research, bridge maintenance, road safety management, corridor preservation and right-of-way, construction management, hazardous cargo routing, overweight/oversize vehicles permit routing, and accident analysis. Other planning applications include evacuation planning, planning for hazardous material release incidents, development of new traffic analysis zones from census tracts, urban traffic air pollution, traffic congestion, shortest path. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), and development of new urban highway networks. The interaction between the transportation system and its surrounding environment makes the GIS technology ideally suited for transporting hazardous material, routing design, risk analysis, and decision making. GIS can also be integrated with sophisticated mathematical models and search procedures to analyze different management options and policies.
In the process of human evolution, the issues confronting today are safe guarding the natural environment and maintaining good quality of life. While taking up developmental activities, the assimilative capacities of the environmental components (i.e., air, water, and land) to various pollutions are rarely considered and because of the overuse, congestion, and incompatible land use, environmental pollution, land degradation, etc. are becoming heated topics in environmental studies. In this scenario, GIS can play a vital role for analysis and in formulating the quick mitigation plans for high-risk environments (Fig. 1.4). GIS allows better viewing and understanding of physical features and the relationships that influence in a given critical environmental condition. GIS supports activities in environmental assessment, monitoring, mitigation and can also be used for generating environmental models. Apart from data analysis, GIS can also help
FIGURE 1.4 GIS Application in Environmental Studies.
the environmental data analysts in the field because most of the GIS tools are flexible enough to work in the field to give the exact location of damage and amount of devastation. GIS is capable of providing solutions in the areas of managing natural resources, wild land analysis, soil mapping, waste water management, air pollution and control, disaster management, zoning of landslide hazards, estimation of flood damage, forest fires management, sea water and fresh water interface studies, hazard mitigation and future planning, oil spills and its remedial actions, emergency services such as fire prevention, forest fires management, identification of volcanic hazards, and coal mine fires. Other GIS applications include wetland inventory, invasive species modular dispersal, dead zones, site remediation, etc.