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Über dieses Buch

"Geospatial Information" is spatial data concerning a place or, in space, collected in real time. Geospatial techniques together with remote sensing, geographic information science, Global Positioning System (GPS), cartography, geovisualization, and spatial statistics are being used to capture, store, manipulate and analyze to understand complex situations to solve mysteries of the universe. These techniques have been applied in various fields such as meteorology, forestry, environmental management, agriculture, health, homeland security etc. around the globe. This volume presents case studies and examples from various parts of the world and provides a broad overview of various approaches; data sets; data acquiring, monitoring and dissemination methods; satellites and sensors; tools and techniques used; integrating tools, techniques and application to various fields for the sustainable management of environmental resources in the context of global environmental change and natural hazards. The objective of this book is to provide state-of-the-art information to academics, researchers and industry practitioners who are involved or interested in the study, use, design and development of advanced and emerging geospatial technologies around the world with ultimate aim to empower individuals and organizations in building competencies for exploiting the opportunities of the knowledge society. All the chapters are peer-reviewes and evaluated and are an inter- and multi-disciplinary source of information, making an effort to link various geospatial techniques to make the earth an habitable place. The contributors have tried to focus their respective views on the current problems that need urgent attention. Consequently, we see this book as a comprehensive information base, which includes work of expertise in their specific fields of research.



1. Environmental Informatics: Advancing Data Intensive Sciences to Solve Environmental Problems

The 21st Century witnesses emergence of geospatial cyberinfrastructure and other relevant geospatial technologies (Yang et al., 2010) for collecting data, extracting information, simulating phenomena scenarios, and supporting decision making (Caragea et al., 2005; Stadler et al., 2006). The advancements of the geospatial technologies not only provide great opportunities for us to better understand environmental issues and better position us to solve global to local environmental problems (Pecar-Ilic and Ruzic, 2006), but also pose great challenges for us to handle terabytes to petabytes of heterogeneous environmental data. Environmental informatics (Green and Klomp, 1998; Hilty, Page and Hrebí < ¡ek, 2006) should be revisited to efficiently and effectively manage, integrate, and mine information and knowledge from the vast amount of data for supporting environmental decisions (Hey, Tansley and Tolle, 2008).

Chaowei Yang, Yan Xu, Daniel Fay

2. Hierarchical Geospatial Computing Environment for Data-intensive Geographic Process Simulation

Geographic information system (GIS) professionals recognize that geographic process is essential for understanding what is happening in the world, learning how the environment is changing, modelling how complex systems work and giving context to other types of data. Consequently, geographic process models have been increasingly featured for the next generation geographic information science (system), as a method for phenomena simulation and mechanism analysis of the physical environment and its live activities, thereby driving conventional GIS based on data manipulation into the world of dynamic and computational processes (Goodchild, 2006; Yuan and Hornsby, 2008; Torrens, 2009; CSDGS et al., 2010).

Mingyuan Hu, Hui Lin, Bingli Xu, Ya Hu, Sammy Tang, Weitao Che

3. Integration of Geographic Information Systems for Monitoring and Dissemination of Marine Environment Data

The issue of monitoring, analysis and visualization of marine activity, either for the purpose of environment protection or threat sensing, has been the subject of intensive research for many years. In the last decades, presented solutions have shown the advantages of dedicated software for storing and management of acoustic and spatial data (Stepnowski et al., 1996; Trygonis et al., 2009; Thakur et al., 2011) as well as the potential of web mapping in application to environmental modelling (Maceachren and Kraak, 1997; Doyle et al., 1998; Goodall et al., 2011). In more recent years, many commercial and scientific institutions have been continuously contributing to the process of development and application of various tools for aquatic sensing. Because of this, the variety of marine sensors is very wide, ranging from simple techniques such as direct sampling or hydrological measurements using CTD probes, through hydroacoustic surveys, air-borne photographs and satellite imaging to numerical modelling and simulation.

Marcin Kulawiak, Marek Moszynski

4. Estimation of Evapotranspiration from Wetlands Using Geospatial and Hydrometeorological Data

Over recent decades, wetlands have been recognized increasingly for their high biodiversity and for the important hydrological functions, including flood alleviation, low-flow support, nutrient cycling and groundwater recharge (Thakur, 2010; Thakur et al., 2011). Wetland hydrology is a primary driving force influencing wetland ecology, its development and persistence (Mitsch and Gosselink, 1993). For most wetlands, evapotranspiration (ET) is the major component of water loss, and when considered as its energy equivalent, the latent heat flux (LE), the largest consumer of incoming energy (Reynolds et al., 2000; Wilson et al., 2001). The radiation and the turbulent heating drive the dynamics of the land-atmosphere energy exchanges in the wetlands. Estimation of these radiation and turbulent heating through mass energy balance equations is the core of numerical weather forecast, climate research, water resources and environmental management and long-term agriculture production. Most of the conventional methods which use point measurement in measuring the energy balance, such as Bowen ratio, Penman-Monteith, Priestley and Taylor, give results that can be efficient on local level but could not be extended to large scale or global scale measurement in time and space (Stewart, 1989).

Jay Krishna Thakur, P. K. Srivastava, Arun Kumar Pratihast, Sudhir Kumar Singh

5. Climbing the Water Ladder – The New GIS Approach

There are numerous precious natural resources in the world but the only resource which is needed by everybody, by every country, by rich or poor people and by all other living creatures is water. Water therefore becomes very essential part of daily lives. Unfortunately, our water resources have been struggling over the decades to fully reach the required attention it needed by all people around the world. This is because freshwater still faces challenges including increasing scarcity, lack of accessibility to adequate clean drinking water, deterioration of water quality, fragmentation of water management both nationally and globally, decline of financial resources allocation for water development, threat to world peace and security and a continuing lack of awareness of the magnitude of the problem by the decision makers and the public at large. Nations with abundance of freshwater resources can have an economic advantage over those less endowed. For instance most developed nations today enjoy a degree of abundance in renewable freshwater resources compared to developing nations especially in Africa (Abu-Zeid, 1998). The world population of about six billion is projected to double in the second half of this century and majority of this population will be in the developing nations. Unfortunately, developing nations currently face water and sanitation problems and water-borne diseases (Bouwer, 2000; Thakur et al., 2011).

Amos Kabo-bah, Kamila Lis

6. Supraglacial Lake Classification in the Everest Region of Nepal Himalaya

Climate change has been linked to widespread retreats and recent disappearances of small glaciers in mountainous regions such as the Patagonia, Andes, Alps and Himalaya (Dyurgerov and Meier, 2000; Fujita et al., 2006; Kargel et al., 2005; Oerlemans, 2005; Paul, Kaab et al., 2004; Racoviteanu et al., 2008; Thakur, 2010). Alpine glaciers are particularly sensitive to changes in climate due to their proximity to melting conditions, wide altitude range, and variability in debris cover (Haeberli et al., 2007; Racoviteanu et al., 2008). Alpine glacial retreat in response to climate change and recent warming trends may have severe hydroecological consequences to surrounding communities (Kehrwald et al., 2008; Milner et al., 2009). The recession of glaciers has been further linked to increases in glacier-related hazards in high mountainous areas such as avalanches, glacial lake outburst floods and debris flows which can increasingly threaten human lives, settlements, and infrastructure (Huggel et al., 2002; Quincey et al., 2005). This has necessitated the assessment and monitoring of potentially hazardous glacial lakes through the use of remote sensing, especially in high mountainous areas due to inaccessibility and lack of field surveys (Quincey et al., 2005).

Prajjwal K. Panday, Henry Bulley, Umesh Haritashya, Bardan Ghimire

7. Towards the Improvement of Water Resource Management by Combining Technologies for Spatial Data Collection, Storage, Analysis and Dissemination

Water resource managers regularly deal with situations where timely, relevant information can be of significant benefit. One only needs to look at the extensive flooding in Australia in 2010 and 2011, and the associated loss of property and life, to discover why the desire for hydrologic monitoring tools is so great. When water resource managers deal with floods, they want to be able to monitor and predict water levels and direct emergency response efforts. However, flooding is not the only situation where water resources need to be monitored and analyzed (Thakur et al., 2011). To ensure appropriate water quality and supply for a region, these parameters must be regularly monitored, and appropriate entities must be alerted when certain warning thresholds are approached or broken. To study and preserve biodiversity, resource managers need access to long-term data about the environmental conditions in their study area, including any hydrologic factors that may have an impact on it. Several established and emerging technologies are currently providing experts with great benefit in managing environmental resources. In the hydrological domain, the use of Sensor Webs (SWs) in data collection provides decision makers with ever-growing amounts of relevant data and allows them to always be aware of conditions in their study area (Guru et al., 2008). These data can be supplemented with data collected using emerging mobile GIS technology and applications. Currently, a multitude of mobile platforms integrating GPS technology can support data entry through generic or dedicated applications.

Nafaâ Jabeur, James D. McCarthy

8. Geomorphologic Risk Modelling of the Sibiu Depression Using Geospatial Surface Analyses

Extreme events in general, and the geomorphologic ones in particular, are highly topical problems. There were addresses by many researchers in the field of geology and physical geography (more specific by the climatologists and geomorphologists), but also by biologists, chemists, ecologists, etc. These are studied through the analysis of some types of processes and production mechanisms, and secondly by the effects they create on other environmental subsystems.

Marioara Costea, Roxana Giusca, Rodica Ciobanu

9. Geospatial Technique to Study Forest Cover Using ALOS/PALSAR Data

Forests are one of the most crucial life supporting system that provide range of economic, social and environmental benefits, including essential ecosystem services such as climate change mitigation and adaptation. Forest plays an important role in maintaining ecological balance and homeostatic in the environment (Wulder and Franklin, 2003). Forest cover mapping is necessary for sustainable management and utilization of forest resources. Forest cover monitoring based on geospatial data can significantly contribute in future forest management plans for reducing deforestation and implementation of climate change mitigation policies. Establishing a reliable baseline of forest cover and monitoring forest cover change in the tropical countries become essential (FAO, 2001; REDD, 2010). Recent report of FRA (2010) shows the global change in forest area is about -5.2 million hectares per year during 2001-2010.

Ram Avtar, Jay Krishna Thakur, Amit Kumar Mishra, Pankaj Kumar

10. Assessment of Land Use/Land Cover Using Geospatial Techniques in a Semi-arid Region of Madhya Pradesh, India

The Earth's land cover characteristics and its use are key variables in global change. The society today is already in the mainstream of another revolution - the information revolution. This brings enormous changes to life and living, providing new approaches: how to advance the frontiers of previous revolutions particularly those of earth resources mapping and monitoring. Over the last few decades, there has been a significant change on land use and land cover (LULC) across the globe due to the climatic changes and over demand of the growing inhabitants. Semi-arid regions are undergoing severe stresses due to the combined effects of growing population and climate change (Mukherjee et al., 2009). In the last three decades, the technologies and methods of remote sensing have progressed significantly. Now a days remote sensing data, along with increased resolution from satellite platforms, makes these technology appear poised to make better impact on land resource management initiatives involved in monitoring LULC mapping and change detection at varying spatial ranges (Singh et al., 2010; Thakur, 2010). Remote sensing technology offers collection and analysis of data from ground-based, space and Earth-orbiting platforms, with linkages to Global Positioning System (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) data with promising modelling capabilities (Franklin, 2001; Thakur et al., 2010). This has made remote sensing valuable for land cover and land use information.

Prafull Singh, Jay Krishna Thakur, Suyash Kumar, U. C. Singh

11. The Environmental Calculator: A Tool for the Efficient Assessment of Environmental Services Loss due to Deforestation

Forest ecosystems contribute to protect soils from erosion and to regulate watersheds and local hydrological systems by reducing variation in water flows. They also provide local and global climate regulation, carbon storage as well as air and water purification. Forests contain the largest assortment of species found in any terrestrial ecosystem and supply numerous social and cultural services. They are also part of our cultural and historical heritage (Stenger et al., 2009). Information about forest values might be needed for legal processes of damage compensation, but also for cost-benefit analyses, for the establishment of governmental regulations, for "environmental pricing'' or simply for general information (Elsasser et al., 2009). The unavailability of cartographical values, representing differential prices for the economical value of environmental services which forest provides, make it difficult to use such resources on a sustainable basis. One major threat to forest sustainability is deforestation. Deforestation has several side effects on the ecosystem services of a site. As runoff and erosion increase, they modify soil structure, which in turn reduces water infiltration and reservoirs recharge. The associated functions that a forest cover usually plays are also affected: thermal regulation, biodiversity support, and carbon sequestration, among others.

Miguel Martínez Tapia, Xanat Antonio Némiga, José Isabel Juan Pérez

12. Urban Tree Detection Using Mobile Laser Scanning Data

Nearly half of the world's population (47 per cent) lives in urban areas and is expected to grow by two per cent per year during 2000-15 (UN, 2001). Urban trees are essential data sets for studies on urban biomass, ecological function, water budgets and radiation transfer in an urban system. Furthermore, it is also useful for 3D cadastre and 3D city models used by planners and environmentalists for planning, modelling and ecological assessments of the city.

Arun Kumar Pratihast, Jay Krishna Thakur

13. Multisensor Fusion of Remote Sensing Data for Crop Disease Detection

There is an increasing pressure to reduce use of pesticides in modern crop production in order to decrease the environmental impact of current practice and to lower the cost of production. It is therefore important that spraying of chemicals only takes place when and where it is really needed. Since disease appearance in fields is frequently patchy, sprays may be applied unnecessarily to disease-free areas. The control of disease could be more efficient if disease patches within fields could first be identified and then phytosanitary chemicals are applied only to the infected areas. Recent developments in optical sensor technology and control systems provide the potential to enable direct detection of foliar diseases under field conditions and subsequent precise application of chemicals through targeted spraying.

Dimitrios Moshou, Ioannis Gravalos, Dimitrios Kateris Cedric Bravo, Roberto Oberti, Jon S. West, Herman Ramon

14. Geospatial Analysis of Cancer Cases in the Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey

Cancer has remained an important health issue in recent years. Examining variations of cancer cases temporally and spatially is necessary to develop strategies to combat its occurrence and to put cancer control programmes into practice. Creating cancer maps is necessary for obtaining information such as the location and frequency of cancer cases, the geographic distribution of cancer types and the location of the highest densities of cases. Consequently, creating more reliable and precise data infrastructures will increase the number of accurate decision making options available and aid in determining how and where to implement control strategies.

Ebru H. Colak, Tahsin Yomralioglu

15. GIS for the Determination of Bioenergy Potential in the Centre Region of Portugal

Every activity performed by mankind is directly or indirectly dependant on the use of energy. Fossil fuels are the main source used nowadays, a presumably limited energy source that may end in the near future (Boyle, 2004). World total annual consumption of all forms of primary energy increased drastically, and in the year 2006 it reached an estimated 10,800 Mtoe (million tons of oil equivalent) (U.S. Energy Information Administration [USEIA], 2009). The annual average energy consumption per person of the world population in 2006 was about 1.65 toe (ton of oil equivalent) (Population Reference Bureau, 2010). In 2010, the consumption of this energy may reach 12,800 Mtoe (USEIA, 2009) and in 2050 it is expected to achieve a range of 14,300 Mtoe to 23,900 Mtoe (International Energy Agency for Bioenergy [IEAB], 2009). We can also assume that it might possibly never end. The current energy crisis is affecting great part of the world population (U.S. Department of Energy, 2009).

Tanya C. J. Esteves, Pedro Cabral, José Carlos Teixeira, António J. D. Ferreira

16. Use of Geospatial Data in Planning for Offshore Wind Development

Offshore wind projects currently provide over two gigawatts of power to the global energy market (Global Wind Energy Council, 2010). Nearly all of this is generated in the North Sea dominated by projects in the United Kingdom and Denmark (Global Wind Energy Council, 2010). The development of offshore wind energy is moving forward in the United States (US) with the recently approved Cape Wind project in federal waters off Massachusetts, the continued planning for offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes and the granting of limited leases for study and calls for requests for interest in leasing selected portions of the eastern outer continental shelf (e.g., Minerals Management Service, 2009; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 2010; Great Lakes Wind Council, 2010). In addition to the United Kingdom in Europe, large-scale offshore wind projects are projected for France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as, in China (Global Wind Energy Council, 2010). The development of offshore wind projects further contributes to the existing pressures on the marine environment increasing the potential benefits of comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem-based planning. This type of marine spatial planning (MSP) is based on sound science and considers current and anticipated uses of the ocean and coastal environment (Ehler and Douvere, 2009). Geospatial techniques provide the framework by which data can be manipulated to aid in implementation of MSP.

John Madsen, Alison Bates, John Callahan, Jeremy Firestone

17. Social Vulnerability Assessment through GIS Techniques: A Case Study of Flood Risk Mapping in Mexico

The most significant impact of natural disasters is at the local level, where human settlements are destroyed and livelihoods are put at risk, economic losses are ensued, and there may be injuries or loss of life in the affected areas (Smith, 2004; Tran et al., 2009). Disaster potential can be conceptualised as the simultaneous occurrence of hazard (the geophysical environmental risk)


vulnerability (the social risk) (cf. Alexander, 1998). Within the context of climate change, in particular, hydrometeorological hazards are becoming more complex and the potential for greater adverse impacts increases (Pielke, 2005; IPCC WGI, 2007). One-in-one-hundred-years flooding events such as that of 2007 in the Gulf of Mexico are expected to become more frequent (SEMARNAT and INE, 2010). The number of recorded floods in Mexico has increased four-fold in the past fifty years and the associated economic losses have increased exponentially in the same period (EM-DAT, 2011). The policy challenge is complicated as coastal societies continue to settle in hazard-prone areas with as many as 600 million globally (and 50 million in the Gulf of Mexico) living in floodplains by 2100 (Nicholls and Mimura, 1998), and a replicable methodology for the analysis of


vulnerability is needed.

P. Krishna Krishnamurthy, L. Krishnamurthy


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