Posts Tagged ‘Mapping’

Interactive Environmental Health Mapping Using Online Mapping Tools

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Online mapping is an extremely useful tool for conveying geographic information. It’s capability to be largely public and community based is largely what makes it so powerful. Organizations can create beautiful and informative maps with existing data as a way of conveying a message to a community. Online mapping can also be much more broad, showing national or worldwide trends in data. A brilliant example of an online community-based mapping website is Mappler. This site gives the user the ability to either add GPS point data at their location with attribute data of the individual’s location, through the mobile app MapplerK, or previously acquired data in the form of points, lines, polygons and raster data sets. Sites like this are very versatile and can be applied to any field from ecology, to the environment, to health care, to planning and asset inventory. Mapping is in the hands of the user(s). envhealth The screenshot above is an example of what online mapping sites can do. This site is one created using Mappler, and shows the correlation between environmental and human health. The map can be viewed at http://www.mappler.net/envhealth/.   For more information on the Mappler site, visit the hompage at http://mappler.net/. Colin Munro, Intern gis@vertices.com

Monitoring and Mapping Storm Water Outfalls on the Raritan River

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Here at IM Rivers we have been working on a new project to protect our local river upon which Rutgers University was built; the Raritan River.  It is a heavily polluted river, but by taking initiative we hope to clean it up so everybody can enjoy its beauty.  After obtaining a GIS shapefile from the Middlesex County Planning Department of outfalls in the county, which I told was a complete database of all storm water outfalls, I noticed that the pipes that I see everyday as part of the Rutgers Crew team were not included in this database.  This motivated us to map them ourselves, which we have just begun.  In our Interactive Map, you can see both the outfalls in the Middlesex County database and the outfalls that we have begun to map on the Raritan River.  In a very short amount of time we were able to map over 25 outfalls which were not in the Planning Departments database!  A special thanks to Rutgers Crew Coach Jon Stephanik for his time and efforts helping us with this project.  Keep checking back to monitor our progress! Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Monitor Local Water

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Quality of water you use and consume can have huge effects upon your health.  Water can be polluted by many different sources, making local water unsafe for swimming, fishing, and consumption.  River Network noted that in some communities where they have been involved in water quality issues, “residents have been confronting high numbers of miscarriages, neurological problems, cancer and other disorders likely related to exposure to contamination.”  River Network has teamed up with TERC to create a guidebook to bring awareness to communities interested in the quality of their water.  This guide addresses watershed contamination issues and how monitoring can be done effectively. READ THE GUIDE HERE. Source: River Network Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Community Involvement Tool

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Here at IMRivers, we recognize how important community involvement can be in maintaining the health of our waterways.  We developed an interactive map called North Carolina Muddy Water Watch, which allows concerned citizens to post pictures and descriptions of violations they witnessed that could have a negative effect upon the health of surrounding waterways.  Many of these violations go unnoticed by regulatory agencies, but with the help of our interactive mapping services and a handful of concerned citizens, these violations can be made public for all to see and the situation can be dealt with accordingly. Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

India Prepares to Use GIS for Water Inventory

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Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, has a population of over 190 million making it India’s most populous state.  Water resource quality is a growing concern, and up until now has not been well documented in this area.  The State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) will use GIS and GPS technologies to create a database of ponds, wells, and hand pumps which will be used to manage these water resources.  This mapping project is part of the National Rural Drinking Water Program.  The project is scheduled to begin by April 1 with an immediate focus on villages with very poor drinking water conditions in summer, and should last until around March 2012.  Community and organizational participation will be key after the initial inventory is done, to continuously monitor these resources. Source: Indian Express Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Using GIS for Efficient, Cost-Effective River Monitoring

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The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) has been using GIS technology to quickly and effectively map and analyze data collected about lakes and rivers in western Pennsylvania.  Using a commercial fish-finder and Esri software products, the WPC was able to successfully generate extensive bathymetry data for 38.1 miles the Allegheny River in just 36 days.  Data was collected by the fish-finder in three second intervals and loaded into the GIS where it was used to create a raster bathymetry layer, which could then be used to create contour lines at any desired intervals.  This approach saved the WPC a significant amount of money and the collection methods allow for efficient remapping to monitor areas of special interest over time. Eli Long and Eric Chapman of the WPC noted in their report that “The bathymetry information WPC has collected will be used to prioritize further mussel survey locations and will be a vital part of the River Information System. Combined with river flow, the data can be used to model pollution concentrations, substrate shifts, and sediment deposition. The completed dataset will be a useful tool for a variety of end users from USACE to recreational boaters and academic researchers. With access to a dataset that was, until now, unavailable at this scale and level of detail, GIS users are limited only by their own creativity.” Read the Full Article by Eli Long and Eric Chapman of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Source: Esri Online News Scott Jablonski, VERTICES intern

Thornapple River Restoration Project

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The Thornapple River is the major river in the Thornapple River Watershed (TRW), a major subdivision of Grand River Watershed(GRW).  The GRW is the second largest drainage system in the state of Michigan, which flows into Lake Michigan.  The main channel of the Thornapple River is 78 miles long and flows in a general West/NorthWest direction.  The Thornapple River Restoration Project is responding to the environmental concerns after the Nashville Dam on the main channel of the Thornapple was removed, which drained 80 acres of water from its Mill Pond and exposed about 60 acres of floodplain.  With the aid of an interactive map, the work done and the progression of these areas can be documented visually.  This area is part of the Barry Conservation District, one of 80 conservation districts in the state of Michigan. Source: Thornapple River Restoration Project Scott Jablonski, VERTICES intern