gis environmentGIS Technology Applications in Environmental and Earth Sciences provides a wealth of information about GIS software for use in environmental applications. The author provides a good overview of technologies being applied for understanding and mapping environmental problems. Readers will learn about data gathering, data modeling and visualizing spatial data in environmental context.

GIS Technology Applications in Environmental and Earth Sciences






Bai Tian

CRC Press


2016 | 258 Pages | ISBN 9781498776042


Reviewed By

Jeff Thurston

The book GIS Technology Applications in Environmental and Earth Sciences is aimed at anyone interested in geographic information systems (GIS). Since GIS is primarily about mapping, it has direct and immediate usefulness for those interested in environmental and earth sciences. Author Bai Tian includes various content including "case studies, programs, maps, graphics, and 3D models how GIS and other related technologies can be used to automate mapping processes, collect, process, edit, store, manage, and share datasets, statistically analyze data, model, and visualize large datasets to understand patterns, trends, and relationships to make educated decisions." 

The opening portion of this text includes a description about What is GIS? It includes metadata, open source and commercial tool descriptions, explanations about projeciton systems - coordinate systems in map use and a general overview of GIS history. It also specifically addresses the issue of environmental and earth science, and the technologies specifically associated to those tasks. 

Several companies are highlighted in the early stages, including GPS, GIS and software bridging the two. Readers will find that the early examples are military focused including chemical weapons and security and approaches for gathering relevant spatial data in these areas. 

This quickly shifts toward aerial imaging and photogrammetric applications that contribute toward mapping and GIS use including lidar use. Topographic slope analysis is included along with geophysical anomaly density analysis, groundwater applications and information relating to the Virgin Islands National Park Plan and its analysis. Readers will appreciate the colorful maps included in the text that highlight case study presentations. These case studies are in depth and help readers to learn about the process and work flows for gathering and analyzing spatial data for use in GIS in detail.

Tian includes information about products that can be used, in addition, he provides information about plug-ins and other software that fits into the analysis scheme. Much information is provided in listed bullet form. There is considerable detail involved in the GPS data section where the technology and its use is described fully. Readers will learn the link between GIS and GPS and gathering data approaches. In terms of data modeling and visualization, there are several different software discussed. The include groundwater modeling and data visualization environments that exist as stand alone products.A groundwater case study from Brunwick Station in Maine is included. Another includes a groundwater plume case study from Bloomfield, Connecticut - and there are others.

The final section of this book is devoted to data sharing and working with spatial data in 2D, 3D and 4D over the internet. Practices used for sharing data are described and readers will gain insight in to some of the issues involved. 

In summary, GIS Technology Applications in Environmental and Earth Sciences covers a lot of territory about the use and application of GIS for environmental applications. This text is filled with colorful images that at significant importance to understanding the text and understanding. GPS data is included as a topic in this text, although aerial imagery is also also included. The author provides a well rounded presentaiton of environmental software tied to GIS applications.