Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are increasingly being used for airport management. They integrate runway operations, advertising spaces, emergency services and provide valuable functions for construction and general airport infrastructure management - airports are small cities. The goal of these city-like places may connect more closely to urban planning and wider economic factors for major cities than we realise. Airports compete regionally and globally, for passengers and freight, and their success brings economic development and more.
A recent conversation with a marketing professional at a geospatial data provider sparked some thought about the construct of layers within GIS, and how layers have their limits. That conversation revolved around vendors and organizations that are so focused on the layers that they produce (imagery, vector data, elevation, 3d buildings, roads, etc.) that they don’t see the forest for the trees. The creators see their data type as the essential element, rather than as a piece that needs to mesh more readily into a system where the combination of layers is the key to better understanding.
Agro-Ecological farming practices are in the spotlight as food prices rise and new opportunities in agricultural production are evaluated. Sustainable agricultural production takes into consideration economic, environment and social factors – food production as a system. Geographic information systems (GIS) support high-value sustainable agricultural production because they can embrace complex modern food production factors.
The recent news that a deadly PG&E gas line explosion was being blamed in part on the lack of reliable information in a mapping system has raised some issues about risk and liability. If you haven’t yet read the exposé by the San Francisco Chronicle that seems to assert that the database and mapping system should have caught the defective seam that was the cause of the explosion, it’s critical reading. While the piece makes mention of poor record keeping, and process problems in converting paper records to digital form, there was also an apparent over reliance on technology to cut through issues of process and policy to provide trusted answers despite shoddy data gathering.
Advances in geospatial technologies ranging from laser scanning to geographic information systems (GIS) to remote sensing satellites are so advanced today, that they are beckoning both users and policy developers to re-think how they are operating, to consider the services they are providing and to reorient beyond location alone. Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) technologies are the ‘new normal’ and they are not only more accurate, but are also raising expectations.