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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as a tool for analysis and communications of multidimensional data
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
1993 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An integrating approach, including knowledge about whole systems of processes, is essential in order to reach both development and environmental protection goals. In this thesis Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are suggested as a tool to realise such integrated models. The main hypothesis in this work is that several natural technical and social systems that share a time-space can be compared and analysed in a GIS. My first objective was to analyze how GIS can support research, planning, and, more specifically, bring a broad scattering of competence together in an interdisciplinary process. In this process GIS was ivestigated as a tool to achieve models that give us a better overview of a problem, a better understanding for the processes involved, aid in foreseeing conflicts between interests, find ecological limits and assist in choosing countermeasures and monitor the result of different programs. The second objective concerns the requirement that models should be comparable and possible to include in other models and that they can be communicated to planners, politicians and the public. For this reason the possibilities to communicate the result and model components of multidimensional and multi-temporal data are investigated.

Four examples on the possibilities and problems when using GIS in interdisciplinary studies are presented. In the examples, water plays a central role as a component in questions about development, management and environmental impact. The first articles focus on non-point source pollutants as a problem under growing attention when the big industrial and municipal point sources are brought under control. To manage non-point source pollutants, detailed knowledge about local conditions is required to facilitate precise advices on land use. To estimate the flow of metals and N(itrogen) in an area it is important to identify the soil moisture. Soil moisture changes over time but also significantly in the landscape according to several factors. Here a method is presented that calculate soil moisture over large areas. Man as a hydrologie factor has to be assessed to also understand the relative importance of anthropogen processes. To offer a supplement to direct measurements and add anthropogen factors, a GIS model is presented that takes soil-type, topography, vegetation, land-use, agricultural drainage and relative position in the watershed into account. A method to analyse and visualise development over time and space in the same model is presented in the last empirical study. The development of agricultural drainage can be discussed as a product of several forces here analyzed together and visualized with help of colour coded "Hyper pixels" and maps. Finally a discussion concerning the physiological and psychological possibilities to communicate multidimensional phenomena with the help of pictures and maps is held.

The main conclusions in this theses are that GIS offer the possibilities to develop distributed models, e.g., models that calculate effects from a vide range of factors in larger areas and with a much higher spatial resolution than has been possible earlier. GIS also offer a possibility to integrate and communicate information from different disciplines to scientists, decision makers and the public.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 1993. , 81 p.
Geographical reports, ISSN 0349-4683 ; 10
Keyword [en]
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Landscape Ecology, Artificial Drainage, Distributed Models, Environmental Change, Environmental Impact, Environmental Engineering, Landscape History, Drainage Technology, Historical Geography, Multidimensional and Multi-temporal Analysis, Hyperpixel, Colour Coding and Presentation of Multidimensional Data
Keyword [sv]
Geografiska informationssystem
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100703ISBN: 91-7174-826-1OAI: diva2:793460
Public defence
1993-12-17, Hörsal 2 Skogshögskolan, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15

Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Umeå universitet, 1993, härtill 6 uppsatser.

Available from: 2015-03-25 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved

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