GIS Supports Global Green Initiatives
With the growing unease and awareness among large segments of the population that remedial
action must be taken to resolve the many environmental crises we now face, GIS solutions are
currently being implemented around the world that provide the technological and scientifi c support
necessary to create programs and processes designed to return our planet to a more sustainable
and balanced level of use.
Whether increasing the effi ciency of fl eet vehicles by optimizing standard routes and subsequently
reducing fuel consumption or determining the optimum location for a wind farm to produce energy
with minimal pollution, GIS provides the quantifi ed information and analytical capabilities necessary
to make decisions that can both support growth and reduce consumption.
The visualization capabilities of GIS afford a unique way of examining things that promotes creative
out-of-the-box thinking, providing insight and solutions that are not so apparent in written reports
and tabular data. Often, an existing GIS implementation stimulates the need to modify existing
business practices or apply new ones that lead to savings in both costs and resources.
The stories included in this e-book detail GIS-based applications for innovative, sustainable
solutions to many of today's common environmental problems. Cascade County, Montana, uses
GIS to map the optimum locations for wind farms and promote investment in this "green" energy
source. Buffalo, New York, known as the City of Trees, maintains its urban forest inventory with
GIS. Air pollution in Jakarta, Indonesia, is severe; in 2004, 46 percent of all illness in the city was
respiratory related, but backed by GIS-based scientifi c studies, the government has implemented
an ambitious plan to improve air quality. The release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere
is the fundamental cause of global warming; GIS is being used in the study and implementation of
CO2 sequestration programs, which either capture the pollutant at its source or absorb it through the
planting of vegetation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used GIS to restore the natural habitat
of the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico, and the City of Boston, Massachusetts, is implementing
an ambitious solar energy program by using GIS to calculate the solar radiation available on city
As ESRI president Jack Dangermond has often said, "The application of GIS is only limited by the
imagination." GIS Is a Green Technology provides an introduction to the powerful capabilities of the
software when applied to environmental and sustainability issues as well as the ingenuity of those
developing these innovative applications.
Get the 50-page PDF here: http://www.esri.com/library/bestpractices/gis-is-green.pdf