Explaining the Role of a GIS

April 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

GIS pic

GIS
Image: nationalgeographic.org

Leveraging more than four decades of experience, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, who earned his PhD from Arizona State University, serves as CEO and director of research for R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates. Working to protect historic and cultural sites throughout the United States from the threats presented by rising sea levels, Dr. Goodwin and his team were among the first to introduce geographic information systems (GIS) into cultural resource management work.

GIS allows visualization, quantification, analysis, and interpretation of data that can be used in the study of historical trends, patterns, and relationships of processes that may affect cultural resources. Such trends also can be projected into the future in graphic form as scaled and rectified images, which is critical for understanding what will happen in particular areas in the future so that courses of action can be planned and implemented.

GIS technology offers a number of other benefits, including reductions of up to 30 percent in operational expenses as a result of reductions in fuel consumption and increased staff efficiency. GIS also provides a strong framework for record keeping and for improving both communication and comprehension, since its products can be shared and viewed. In this regard, GIS can be central to more effective collaboration among interdisciplinary planning teams.

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