Case Studies

 

GIS users represent a vast reservoir of knowledge, expertise, and best practices in applying this cornerstone technology to the science of climate change and understanding its impact on natural and human systems.

Focus

Application

Case Study

Shoreline Change History

Louisiana's Gulf of Mexico shoreline is losing land. Over the past century, the erosion rate has progressively increased, threatening the health of coastal Louisiana. Through use of historical maps, satellite imagery, and aerial photography, experts mapped the patterns and rates of shoreline change.

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Impacts of Sea Level Rise

Impacts of Sea Level Rise

Southern Florida was examined to exhibit the effects of sea level rise on human and animal populations. Inundation of southern Florida's coastlines and Broward County were modeled using a USGS seamless DEM with a vertical exaggeration of 100 to bring out the visual effect.

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Mapping the Larsen Ice Shelf

Mapping the Larsen Ice Shelf

The Antarctic Peninsula has shown the most obvious examples of recent change on the Antarctic continent. The map illustrates the significance of monitoring the Larsen Ice Shelf for effects that may be a result of global climate change.

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The Cryosphere World Map

MotionBase Tech

Snow cover extent for Northern Hemisphere is represented by the 1966-2005 February average, for Southern Hemisphere by the 1987-2003 August average. Sea ice extent for Northern Hemisphere is represented by the 1979-2003 March average, for Southern Hemisphere by the 1979-2002 September average.

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Ozone Precursor Monitoring

Ozone Precursor Monitoring

This map shows the spatial relationship between major nitrogen oxides (NOx) stationary emission sources, ambient ozone concentrations, ambient NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOC) precursor concentrations, population density, and 24-hour wind back trajectories on high ozone concentration days in Houston, Texas.

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Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map

Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map

This map displays the Circumarctic Vegetation Map and Arctic Research Stations, which include the location, station name, contact information, facilities, equipment, communications, Internet link, and other basic information for stations supporting research in the Arctic region.

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Climate Change Models Published

Climate Change Models Published

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is publishing climate change model output data in a GIS format. NCAR chose Esri's data formats to bring scenarios of global climate change to scientists, researchers, educators, and planners for use in GIS software, such as ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS 3D Analyst, and ArcIMS.

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GIS Innovation Aids Antarctic Research

GIS Innovation Aids Antarctic Research

The voyage undertook a biodiversity study, in cooperation with the Italian Antarctic Research Programme, and continued hydrographic survey work in the northwestern Ross Sea.

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Long-Term Environmental Monitoring

Long-Term Environmental Monitoring

In 1996, Texas A&M University and University of Texas researchers began developing a long-term environmental monitoring program for McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

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Mapping the Ayles Ice Shelf Break

Mapping the Ayles Ice Shelf Break

It was the Arctic ice shelf collapse heard around the world: the ancient Ayles Ice Shelf in Canada had cracked from its mooring in an Ellesmere Island fjord and floated into the Arctic Ocean.

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Visualizing Coral Reef Threats

Visualizing Coral Reef Threats

Data from a programmable imaging spectrograph, captured as part of a mapping program sponsored by an ocean conservation organization, is helping researchers better understand threats to the health of coral reefs in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and elsewhere.

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National Carbon Sequestration

National Carbon Sequestration

The U.S. Department of Energy's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs) generated data for the layers displayed in the Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada. Geospatial data such as carbon sources, potential storage sites, transportation, and land use are required for efficient implementation of carbon sequestration on a broad scale.

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Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership

Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership

Within central North America, the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership is investigating carbon capture and storage technologies in order to provide a safe, effective, and efficient means of managing carbon dioxide emissions across the center of the continent.

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Carbon Emissions Inventory

Carbon Emissions Inventory

Researchers from Purdue University's Project Vulcan developed processes for aggregating carbon emissions data from multiple sources and formats. Valuable GIS support for this project came from an unlikely source: the university's library.

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Forestry Carbon Trading

Foresters are using GIS to analyze forests' carbon sequestration rates. This technology can also be implemented to reveal opportunities in carbon trading to gain economic advantages from sustainable forest management.

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Carbon Sequestration Communications

Carbon Sequestration Communications

The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is leading an international team to develop opportunities for CO2 sequestration in the Great Plains of North America.

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Biomass and Carbon in U.S. Forests

Biomass and Carbon in U.S. Forests

Understanding the role of land-cover change, such as the conversion of forest to pasture or prairie to pavement, is a chief objective of scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), an environmental science, education, and policy institution on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

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Biomass Resource Potential

Biomass Resource Potential

This project examines the economically feasible biomass supply for different types of future bioenergy, biofuel, and biobased products manufacturing facilities sited across the landscape. Gross and technically feasible feedstock supplies were previously assessed for California.

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Wind Resources of the Western U.S.

Wind Resources of the Western U.S.

By presenting current wind generation, transmission options, and new wind generation siting opportunities, Platts' clients use the Wind Resources of the Western United States wall map to obtain insight into the present and future of wind power in the western United States.

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Renewable Energy Resource Potential

Renewable Energy Resource Potential

New Mexico's largest electricity and natural gas provider developed this map showing the relationship of wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources to existing electric transmission facilities for use in discussions with various state and federal agencies and the public.

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Wind Farm Siting

Wind Farm Siting

This image displays AWS Truewind's first national map for mean annual wind speed at 80 meters above ground. The wind resource data is the basis for identifying potential land area for wind development.

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Marine Renewable Energy Atlas

Marine Renewable Energy Atlas

The Atlas of UK (United Kingdom) Marine Renewable Energy Resources stands as an example of an interactive data-management system, delivered across a range of GIS enabled formats: hard-copy maps, desktop application, and Web application.

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Siting Wind Turbines

Siting Wind Turbines

GIS enables us to reach our goal of finding the best wind areas while causing as little impact as possible to wildlife and the environment. Locating the right site can be done quickly and accurately with publicly available data and GIS technology.

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Solar Potential of Rooftops

National Carbon Sequestration

About 20 percent of the country's rooftops are suitable for solar power production, according to recent results from the SUN-AREA Research Project. The project aims to determine how solar energy resources can be optimized by placing photovoltaic panels on rooftops around the country.

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Searching for Renewable Energy Sites

Searching for Renewable Energy Sites

The perfect site for a renewable energy installation needs to fulfill certain conditions. Information, such as land survey data, is evaluated by using GIS in order to make a site evaluation.

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Siting a Solar Power Project

Siting a Solar Power Project

The Geothermal Map of North America is based on terrestrial heat flow as the primary determination for the earth's crustal/lithospheric thermal conditions. This map illustrates heat transfer from lithospheric to local (individual geothermal system) scales.

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Concentrating Solar Power Program

Concentrating Solar Power Program

This map depicts various ongoing GIS activities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in support of the Concentrating Solar Power research program. Activities include development of direct normal resource data, analyses to quantify potential for development, and development of interactive data visualization tools.

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Tapping Wind Resources

Tapping Wind Resources

GIS is used to create a wind map book combining wind, transmission, parcel, and road data, helping investors and developers locate best wind power resource areas.

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The Economics of Biofuel Availability

Evaluating the economic feasibility of biomass resources (i.e., plant material) as an energy source requires comprehensively addressing transportation costs by integrating that cost information based on the type of biomass material, the distance it must be transported, and the available transportation infrastructure. GIS is well suited to this type of analysis.

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A Carbon-Neutral, Zero-Waste City

A Carbon-Neutral, Zero-Waste City

Every facet of designing and building the city will be analyzed with GIS, and an enterprise system will be used throughout the city's life cycle.

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Sumatra Forest Cover Change

Sumatra Forest Cover Change

This map illustrates a Landsat analysis of forest cover and forest loss from 1990 to 2000 on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. During that 10-year time period, Sumatra lost its forest cover at a rate of approximately 25 percent.

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Mapping Ecosystem Services

Mapping Ecosystem Services

Shown here are four ecosystem services in the Northern Sierra Nevada: water yield, water retention, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. These maps represent the first step in mapping the delivery, distribution, and economic value of ecosystem services in the Sierra Nevada of California.

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Metropolitan Area Growth

Metropolitan Area Growth

This mapping project outlines the growth of the Maricopa Association of Governments Region from 1912 to present. In addition, the project depicts the projected growth patterns of population, employment, and urban concentrations through the year 2030.

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The Impact of Transportation

The Impact of Transportation

Transportation is one of the most significant factors of human influence on our planet. This map of the human footprint shows the gradient of human impact within the state of Oregon.

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California Biodiversity Atlas

California Biodiversity Atlas

The California Department of Fish and Game has published the Atlas of Biodiversity of California, which examines biodiversity on a statewide level and provides a summary of the best available information about species, habitats, and vegetation types.

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Watershed Implementation Plans with GIS

Watershed Implementation Plans with GIS

The effect of Katrina and Rita on the state's wetlands has been substantial, and GIS tools will be used to support the restoration efforts for the region.

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Land Suitability Analysis

Land Suitability Analysis

This project will benefit the Land Use Plan by providing geographic data, analysis results, and total acreage calculations for specific land use, land cover, and analysis areas.

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County "Green" Map

County "Green" Map

Westchester County created an online Green Map that allows residents to see resources that support green practices such as recycling centers, tire disposal sites, and farmers' markets.

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Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Conservation

Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Conservation

Kenya's Kiunga Marine National Reserve studies sustainable fisheries and marine conservation with GIS, enabling an increasingly revealing spatial analyses of the ecology of the reserve.

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Mapping Benthic Habitats

Mapping Benthic Habitats

The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations have been collecting data of the water column since 1949, providing one of the longest existing time series data collections of the physics, chemistry, and biology of the dynamic oceanic regime. This has proven to be a useful prototype database to test the capabilities of the Marine Data Model and visual representation with GIS.

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Rangeland Health Inventory and Analysis

Rangeland Health Inventory and Analysis

Mobile GIS allows for informed discussions with range tenure holders in a time-efficient manner, and summary analysis of range health is easily created.

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Global Agriculture Assessments

Global Agriculture Assessments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service is responsible for global crop condition assessments and estimates of area, yield, and production for grains, oilseeds, and cotton. Regional analysts use GIS to collect market intelligence and forecast reliable global production numbers for the grain, oilseed, and cotton crops.

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Improving Crop Yield

Improving Crop Yield

GIS technology enables farmers to become more discerning about crop management. Modern precision farming techniques incorporate geospatial technologies to help farmers increase economic yield.

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Irrigation Planning and Management

Irrigation Planning and Management

Sri Lanka's Department of Agrarian Development has implemented GIS to help select tanks that will be rehabilitated in the future and to assess the impact of rehabilitated minor irrigation systems on poor farmer families in WFP activity districts.

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Impact of Climate Changes on Gray Whales

Impact of Climate Changes on Gray Whales

Migrating Gray whales stop to feed in areas rich with chlorophyll fed shrimp. Using GIS, researchers analyzed relationships of water temperatures, base food chain elements, and whale behavior patterns.

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Ride Sharing Made Easier with GIS

Ride Sharing Made Easier with GIS

SmartTrips Web-based ride-sharing system allows users to instantly identify potential matches and view their proximity on a map.

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Analyzing and Monitoring Rice Production

Analyzing and Monitoring Rice Production

In the aftermath of a devastating cyclone in Myanmar, GIS provide a detailed perspective of where remediation efforts are needed and helps monitor the ongoing flood recovery.

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Population Inside the Floodplain

Population Inside the Floodplain

Over five million people live in the Houston-Galveston region of today, and the population is projected to grow to over 8.8 million by 2035. A region of this size is continually evolving and developing to support the growing population.

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Global Pandemic Preparations

Global Pandemic Preparations

A Karolinksa Institutet seminar presented how GIS technology and statistical analyses provide increased preparedness, better information, and more effective measures against the spread of infectious diseases such as bird influenza.

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Siting Emergency Medical Centers

Siting Emergency Medical Centers

The GIS Division and Health Department in the City of Alexandria, Virginia, teamed up to find the optimal location for a new medical distribution center and the number of existing centers using GIS to develop an allocation model.

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Hurricanes on the U.S. Gulf Coast

A Carbon-Neutral, Zero-Waste City

In studying tropical storm data from 1850 to 2005, patterns in hurricane movements and an increase in storm activity can be seen. Some portions of the Gulf of Mexico's coastal region appear to be more prone to hurricanes, such as New Orleans and its surrounding communities.

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Mapping Natural Hazards with Lidar

Mapping Natural Hazards with Lidar

Oregon is using Lidar data to more accurately find and analyze hazards like landslides and debris flow.

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