GIS and Mapping
GIS is a useful decision-making tool that helps us understand and predict the relationships between human uses and natural systems.
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GIS analysis answers spatial questions about animals and plants in their environment. This includes habitat relationships, population changes, and species distributions. We carefully identify and consider the questions that need to be answered first, then determine how to best use GIS as a tool to answer those questions.
High-level GIS modeling uses existing data to answer complex ecological questions within a spatial framework. For example, Pandion has used GIS to:
- Create a risk model for Bald Eagle susceptibility to electrocutions on transmission lines.
- Model wind turbine collision risks to birds.
- Identify areas where recreation use and sensitive natural or cultural resources intersect.
- Identify potential areas of high mortality for the endangered West Indian manatee.
GIS maps are powerful visual aids and serve as supporting documentation for desktop studies and field surveys. They have also been used to site facilities in areas with the least environmental impact. Our maps commonly include aerial imagery, site boundaries, protected species, water features, habitat types, and other natural resources.
Using GIS to Work with People
GIS can be used to understand how people interact with the landscape and thus help you answer human dimensions questions about your site. For example, when natural resource layers are combined with social and nature-based recreation data, we can understand recreation impacts, visitor use patterns, and recreation preferences. Thus GIS becomes a tool to help land managers focus attention and management efforts on key areas that require action.