This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Geographical information systems (GIS)

This acronym stands for Geographic Information Systems and refers to the collection, analysis, storage and display of data which are spatially referenced to the surface of the Earth. In a simple form it was used by land use planners who overlaid a sheet of transparent film over a topographic map in order to relate e.g., housing projects to flood plains or earthquake zones. Now, however, it is entirely dependent on the digital computer. In its present form it is largely a creation of surges in development in the 1960s and the 1980s. Since the latter time, it has entered curricula in higher education in order to satisfy a large commercial demand for skilled operatives. Since GIS plots phenomena from ...

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