The Green Use of GIS- How GIS is Helping the Planet (Earth Day 2020)

As we celebrate the 50th Earth Day on 22nd April 2020, we celebrate how GIS has helped Earth Science and how far we have come! Read More:

The Green Use of GIS- How GIS is Helping the Planet (Earth Day 2020)
The Green Use of GIS- How GIS is Helping the Planet (Earth Day 2020)

The Green Use of GIS- How GIS is Helping the Planet (Earth Day 2020)

When Earth Day began in 1970, its motive was to encourage thinking about the planet and taking sustainable steps towards keeping the planet healthy. Though recognition of Earth Day began in the 70s, the ideology of sustainability and technology of GIS existed long before. 

Today, we observe that the Geographic Information System, also known as GIS, is being integrated into industries, public welfare, and even the management of natural resources. As we celebrate the 50th Earth Day on 22nd April 2020, we celebrate how GIS has helped Earth Science and how far we have come!

Here are a few incredible uses of GIS in Earth Sciences and Sustainability:

Green Energy- Green Energy such as wind, solar, and tidal energy have become increasingly important in recent times. With global energy consumption rising at an alarming rate, it is essential to find alternative energy sources as fossil fuels put much pressure on the environment.

Geospatial Data has helped energy scientists and researchers to identify areas where setting up of these renewable energy sources would prove beneficial. It has helped find locations that are ideal for the optimum utilization of resources and benefits to society. GIS has also helped create an identifiable map of green energy sources across the world, which can help decision-makers and companies in the energy business with the availability of abundant, analytical data.

Forest Management- With global urbanization, it has become even more imperative to plan and protect forests across the world. GIS data helps to maximize the utilization of resources, identify assets, and reduce management costs in forestry. 

GIS data provides an excellent solution for data collection for forests. Due to their large areas, GIS proves to be an effective method of rich data collection, analysis of information, and understanding patterns of forests. 

With methods like remote sensing making data collection easier, forestry and forest management have benefitted immensely from the better allocation and use of resources.

Land Use and Planning- Urban planning has become essential today. With smart cities becoming increasingly popular, GIS data has equipped urban planners and managers with a powerful tool. The ability of a GIS system to store and manipulate large amounts of data for analysis and decision making has given governments and urban planners the resources to effectively plan and create a resource-optimized world. 

With GIS data that is dynamic and helps analyze many variables at the same time, infrastructure planners can understand land patterns in their area, maintain green cover by optimizing the land available, and also help create an infrastructure that is energy-efficient and green. 

Nature and Conservation- Natural conservatories across the world leverage GIS data on a daily basis to find ways of preservation, damage control, and further growth. GIS data is used by global organizations, conservation agencies, various departments of natural resources at governmental levels, and even the United Nations.

GIS data and maps help these agencies at their levels to formulate policies, understand resources and their consumption patterns, and also make better decisions for the future.

Environmental Mapping- GIS data has helped contribute to a lot of interesting maps of the environment. These fascinating and unique maps provide a lot of unconventional information that people don’t usually think about. Environmental mapping has helped make people more aware of things and the Earth. It is a great way to raise awareness of the environment.

Maps such as the Map of World’s Protected Areas, Map of Global Soil Humidity, Geothermal Energy, and now, Virus Spread Maps have helped make people more aware of things at scale.

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we appreciate our Planet and what it has given us, and how technology can help Earth become greener and healthier. 

Watch Video: Earth Day 1970 Part 1: Intro (CBS News with Walter Cronkite)