Geographic Information Systems in Environmental Management

Danlin L. Yu, Scott W. Buchanan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The utilization of geographic information (information that is associated with specific geographic location) has attracted more and more attention in a wide range of fields. The application of geographic information systems (GIS) in environmental management is of special interest due to GIS's spatially explicit capability to integrate environmental data analysis and decision support. The specific characteristics of geographic information (inherently associated with set locations) make the interpretation and analysis of geographic information rather unique. Geographic information science, which develops from the applications of GIS, is experiencing rapid growth and offers great opportunities for interdisciplinary investigation of scientific endeavors such as environmental management. In this chapter, we will give some background of the development of GIScience and a case study of how GIS can be employed for a wildlife ecology practice. More importantly, however, we devote this particular chapter to the discussion of the characteristics of geographic information and introduce a few classical and new techniques in analyzing geographic information that could be of importance to environmental management. In particular, this chapter pays specific attention to the analysis of spatial heterogeneity that inherently exists in geographic information and the regressed relations among variables using geographic information. The extension of analyzing spatial heterogeneity in a temporal context is also introduced and discussed. The chapter echoes a belief that one of the major tasks of GIScience is to develop new methods to help understand the ever-increasing volume of geographic information to support environmental management. We hope the chapter will serve as a starting place for interested scholars to energetically seek better analytical techniques that, through the application of GIScience, will provide new insights and opportunities for environmental management.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn Integrated Approach to Environmental Management
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781118744406
ISBN (Print)9781118744352
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • ArcGIS®
  • Environmental management
  • Geographic coordinate systems
  • Geographic information analysis
  • Geographic information sciences
  • Geographic information systems
  • Projected coordinate systems
  • Projection
  • Spatial effects
  • Spatial reference system


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