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Thoughts on GIS

Biohabitats’ Leaf Litter
Vol. 6 Number 1
http://www.biohabitats.com/ndg_newsite/newsletter/number.25/

From retail to routing to restaurants, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are impacting almost every industry. But what about ecological restoration, conservation planning and regenerative design?

While some practitioners shy away from GIS, intimidated by what they perceive as cumbersome and complex technology, others see it as a gift from the techno gods — a vehicle that can bring information from numerous sources and provide an otherwise unattainably holistic understanding of a site.

How are GIS science, technology and tools affecting the fields of ecological restoration, conservation planning and regenerative design? Can GIS facilitate interdisciplinary approaches and lead to new solutions? Can it allow us to do and depict things we never thought possible? Or does it just further complicate everything? Join us as we explore these questions and more.

For starters, we’ll talk with Patrick J. Crist, a man who spent most of his professional career applying GIS technology and tools toward the protection and conservation of natural resources. In his current role as Director of Conservation Planning and Ecosystem Management for NatureServe, he has a lot of wisdom – and resources – to share.

What do your peers have to say about GIS and its application to our work? Find out by reading the results of our reader survey.

In her article When Bad Data Happens To Good Models, Biohabitats’ own GIS guru, Christine Mielnicki reminds us of four fundamental principles we should keep in mind when using GIS.

In addition to its many applications to conservation planning, ecological restoration and regenerative design, GIS can be downright entertaining. You need not be a geek to enjoy some of the fun things we found.

Check out the links we’ve provided in the resources section of this issue. Whether you’re looking for data sources, new toolkits, educational resources, or general information, you’ll find something to help you better understand and use GIS.

Finally, catch up on the latest at Biohabitats and learn how we are applying GIS as we help towns and universities plan for growth and development while maximizing the value of their natural resources.

As always, we want to know what you think. Share your comments by contacting our editor.

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