GIS and Natural Resource Management


 In natural resource management, remote sensing and GIS is mainly used in the mapping process. These technologies can be used to develop a variety of maps. Examples include: 1.Land cover maps 2. Vegetation maps 3. Soil maps 4. Geology maps. However, before these maps are developed, there are a variety of data that need to be collected and analyzed. Most of this data is collected with the help of remote sensing technology. Data can be collected using either ground photographs, aerial photographs or satellite photographs of the area of study. The choice of the photograph usually depends on the topography of the area of study and the aim of the study. For instance, aerial photographs (vertical or oblique) are always useful when spatial data need to be collected in the same area of study within intervals (hours, days, seasons, years etc.). This form of data collection shows the variations of the area of study within different periods of time. Satellite photographs can also be used to collect relevant data for the study. These types of photographs are however superior to aerial photographs in the sense that they have higher spectral, spatial, radiometric and temporal resolutions. Thus, satellite images are more detailed hence a lot of data can be generated from them. However, for remote sensing data to be effective, it needs to be incorporated together with topographical maps that show the variation of climate, soils, and other factors.


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