Connecting the environment through GIS

GIS Day will be celebrated on November 13, 2019, where persons are encouraged to share their passions and inspire the world with GIS. Moreover, 2019 marks 20 years— a significant milestone in celebration of GIS Day and the vital role it plays in connecting the world.

What is GIS?
A “Geographic Information System (GIS)” is an integrated system of computer hardware, software, skilled and unskilled users (people), methods and spatial (Geographic) and non-spatial (attribute) data. Further, GIS allows for people to view data as maps, rather than columns of numbers; making it easier to read and understand.

How is GIS data collected?
o Digitising (the process of tracing GIS data directly on the screen)
o LiDAR (images)
o Drones
o Global Positioning S (EPA mostly use this format)
o Satellites (remote sensing)

How is data stored in GIS?
Geographic data is stored in two models: Raster or Vector.

Why is GIS important?
o Informs decision-making
o Provides accurate data location
o Increase efficiencies
o Can reduce the cost of services
o Coherent management of resources
o Improves communication
o Vital for accurate record-keeping

What can GIS do?
o Input data
o Manipulate data
o Manage data
o Provide guidance for query & analysis of data
o Visualisation of information/data

Types of datasets captured through GIS technology
o Land cover
o Climate
o Ecosystems
o Energy
o Infrastructure
o Marine resources
o Biodiversity
o Research
o Health
o Demographics
o Manufacturing/Industries
o Education

Data we map at the EPA
o Complaints hotspot mapping
o Environmental inspections
o Biodiversity research conducted
o Water sampling locations
o Disease outbreaks
o Oil wells and drill sites
o Identifying potential and suitable landfill sites
o Mapping coastal change and trends

Other benefits of GIS
GIS can boost Inter-agency collaboration via
o Reducing overlaps and redundancies
o Providing updated datasets
o More data = more information
o Cost efficient because of data sharing mechanisms

Important points to note about GIS:
o It is fata driven (must be a priority)
o Accurate information is necessary for accurate outputs
o Inspection data submitted after each visit (must be a priority)

You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: [email protected] or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.