Monday 5 December 2016

How environmental engineering can be relished with GIS?


Geographic Information System (GIS) is one of the geospatial technologies that are enthralling the globe with their scientific stewardship and shrewdness. GIS is a deluxe technology that succors geo-mapping, environmental modeling, temporal update of the globe, achieving geographic scenarios insights, spatial data exploration, environmental data formulation, and cost analysis of the projects. GIS is suitable for every field that comes under the domain of environmental engineering. GIS gathers and saves the required environmental information which can be used to reveal selected angle of a particular situation to solve a given problem. Applications of GIS are discussed according to the location of environmental issues i.e. environmental issues that are related to air, water, and land.          

The filthiness of the atmosphere can be sensed by every being living on the planet’s face. Whether it is the urbanization, the industrialization, the cottage industry advancement, or the traffic increment, it is adding more and more to the air pollution. All of it is upsetting wildlife, human life, and well being and aesthetics of the environment. GIS can be used to map the air pollution, to model the spatial configuration of the pollution, and to assess extent of the air pollution temporally. 

The same factors that impact unfavorably health of the air are also offensive to the fresh water ways and water bodies. GIS can be nimbly used to inspect landscape characteristics data to evaluate water quality, collect data for assisting remediation of pollution, manage water treatment procedures, oversee natural and anthropogenic processes that disturb water catchments, make a practicable land use management plan, store spatial and temporal data of water resources, and map environmental phenomenon with in water bodies.  
Wastewater treatment can be efficiently done using GIS when it is used to calculate treatment costs, decide amongst the treatment alternatives, model wastewater transport data, improve the pumping of wastewater, and map successive treatment processes. 

One of the utmost sources of environmental degradation on land is solid waste. Be it municipal, industrial or hazardous, it is totally messy. It pollutes the land, the water ways, and the atmosphere. GIS can be used to plan and map solid waste collection, segregation, transportation, and dumping system. GIS can also be used to estimate distances to landfill, map landfill location and land slope, plan optimal routes from source to disposal, and recommend a suitable disposal site.          

If and when the field of environmental engineering is equipped with GIS, it can sense the aptitude of GIS while making life refining environmental decisions. GIS is unequivocally an expedient and technical tool for environmental studies, applications, and research. Not only students and institutes can get benefit of this technology but also environmental decision makers, managers, developers, and even lay person can be benefited from it. GIS is expected to demonstrate more of its abilities in future there by saving money, labor, and time of its users. GIS when incorporated into environmental engineering research and projects can illustrate its technical benefits. Environmental engineering can then be understood, solved, and displayed in an enhanced style.  

Aspinall R, Pearson D. J Environ Manage. 2000; 59: 299–319p.

Crooks AT, Castle CJE. In Heppenstall AJ, Crooks AT, See LM, et al. (Eds). Agent–Based Models of Geographical Systems. Netherlands: Springer; 2012; 219–51p.

Goodchild MF, et al. Environmental Modeling with GIS. New York: Oxford University Press; 1993.

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