Okies get Mapped! GIS For Sustainable Development

GIS for planning and community development solving global challenges

Planners engage in a plethora of activities, but their work generally reflects the tension among three main competing interests: equity, economy and the environment, also known as the “three Es.” Regardless of their specialty, planners pay a great deal of attention to the notion of sustainability, which encapsulates these three key elements. link

GIS, the ULTIMATE in societal managementThe more evolved path to tyranny. . .

Never in the history of public and private sector geospatial processing has there been a more urgent need for leadership that understands change.

Another obvious challenge is that the market forces that drive the evolution of technology do not meaningfully, or in any disciplined way, take into full account the needs of science and social processes. Leaders in research, education and government, therefore, share responsibility for understanding industrial development and the state of commercial applications if they wish to define more useful outcomes than those which would otherwise occur by default- outcomes which would in fact be inevitable should leading thinkers and policy planners persist in defending traditional institutional and economic intellectual practices instead of opening themselves to the evolved research and policy requirements of the increasingly complex modern world. (Emphasis mine)

source-The Evolution of Geospatial Technology Calls for Changes in Geospatial Research, Education and Government Management

By Prof. Mike Jackson, David Schell and Prof. D.R. Fraser Taylor
April 06, 2009

GIS in the City of Edmond, Oklahoma

The City of Edmond’s GIS program began in August 1996 with the goal of becoming an enterprise GIS.

This paper will document the data collection processes the City of Edmond followed to acquire the information necessary for the enterprise wide GIS. Also discussed are the on-going efforts to implement an integrated maintenance management system using Cityworks, as well as a permitting and workflow tracking system using PERMITS Plus.  (Read more from the ESRI library)

(If you want to know more about GIS and Sustainable Development and property rights be sure to listen to AxXiom for Liberty LIVE tonight!  See bottom of this post for more info about tonight’s show)

ESRI explains GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

What Is GIS?

By understanding geography and people’s relationship to location, we can make informed decisions about the way we live on our planet.

A geographic information system (GIS) is a technological tool for comprehending geography and making intelligent decisions.

GIS organizes geographic data so that a person reading a map can select data necessary for a specific project or task.

A thematic map has a table of contents that allows the reader to add layers of information to a basemap of real-world locations. For example, a social analyst might use the basemap of Eugene, Oregon, and select datasets from the U.S. Census Bureau to add data layers to a map that shows residents’ education levels, ages, and employment status.(Emphasis mine)

Industry Focus

GIS for Sustainable Development

GIS is an important tool for helping people map out plans for successfully achieving management strategies that are sustainable both at local and global levels.

Esri supports many sustainable development efforts throughout the world. Geographic information systems provide policy makers and planning agencies with visualization tools to manage growth and change. (Emphasis mine)

Here is just one amazing use of GIS…

Regulatory Compliance

Government agencies use GIS to create and enforce environmental legislation. Services and businesses use GIS to comply with environmental regulations and mandates.

In addition, cooperation between agencies is simplified by the use of a central database that can be leveraged for cross purposes such as financial information, ownership, improvements, and plans. Link

GIS for Sustainable Development-ESRI

Sustainable development is the balance of meeting humankind’s present needs while protecting the environment to ensure the fulfillment of future generations’ needs.

The growing human population and its demands on the earth’s resources generate a need for sustainable practices.

Implementing these practices often requires collaboration between different organizations.

ESRI’s commitment to developing interoperable technology sets the stage for cooperation between organizations so that they can make well-informed decisions. GIS software allows users across the globe to share ideas on how to meet their resource needs, plan efficient land use, and protect the environment to guarantee the survival of future generations.

Republic of Cameroon, located in Central Africa.“Since our maps of the reserve are completely georeferenced, the individual farms within the reserve are all coded and the trees within the farms documented, providing us with very good information regarding the trees within the cultivated land that are the responsibility of the farmers to protect. If we discover a felled tree, we simply take its GPS point and can easily determine whether or not the tree is within the reserve, and if so, we can bring the culprit to justice.”

Poor Camaroon!  The people are trying to eek a living from the land and tree killing is a viscous and costly crime…Thank goodness for GIS!

Penalties for removing trees within the reserve include both incarceration and fines ranging from $400 (U.S.) to $2,000 (U.S.), as stipulated by national laws. In addition, the value of the felled trees is calculated and added to the court fines.


Together, the Australian Research Council, the Queensland Department of Local Government and Planning, and the Hervey Bay City Council developed a sustainable development-based land use scenario for the shire using ArcGIS 8 and a GIS-based planning support system (PSS)–What if? 1.1–developed by Community Analysis and Planning Systems, Inc. (Hudson,

Ohio), an ESRI Business Partner. What makes this project special is that a strategic planning scenario for Hervey Bay 2001-2021 has been formulated based on the principle of sustainable development


See Power Point Oklahoma GIS GeoCIP 2009


A number of socioeconomic, physical, and environmental data inputs were acquired from a wide range of national, state, and local government agencies and used to formulate the strategic planning scenario. Core physical and environmental data inputs include cadastral land parcels, building footprints, road, sewer, water, land use, remnant vegetation, national parks, state forests, riparian vegetated areas, coastal wetlands, areas of prime agricultural land, areas of indigenous significance, and existing open space.


Where did the great idea of mapping everything down to the freckles on our behinds come from anyways?

If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’….

Most sustainable development decisions are inherently multidisciplinary or cross-sectoral, because they require trade-offs between conflicting goals of different sectors. However, most natural resource development agencies are single-sector oriented. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can help establish cross-sectoral communication – by providing not only very powerful tools for storage and analysis of multisectoral spatial and statistical data, but also by integrating databases of different sectors in the same format, structure and map projection in the GIS system.

The importance of this integrated approach to development and management of natural resources have been emphasised in many international fora on sustainable development. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) devoted Chapter 10 of its Agenda 21 to this topic, noting that:

“…Expanding human requirements and economic activities are placing ever increasing pressures on land resources, creating competition and conflicts and resulting in suboptimal use of both land and land resources. If, in the future, human requirements are to be met in a sustainable manner, it is now essential to resolve these conflicts and move towards more effective and efficient use of land and its natural resources. Integrated physical and landuse planning and management is an eminently practical way to achieve this. By examining all uses of land in an integrated manner, it makes it possible to minimise conflicts, to make the most efficient tradeoffs and to link social and economic development with environmental protection and enhancement, thus helping to achieve the objectives of sustainable development. The essence of the integrated approach finds expression in the coordination of the sectoral planning and management activities concerned with the various aspects of land use and land resources.”


. . . and they are still plugging away at it.

February 19, 2010

United Nations University and Esri to Collaborate on GIS Research and Training

Redlands, California—Esri and United Nations University (UNU) recently approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the university’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. They will collaborate on research, create Centers of Excellence, promote the exchange of graduate students, and provide geographic information system (GIS) training opportunities within and by UNU.


There is a lot more to GIS in Oklahoma but that’s probably plenty to digest for the moment.  In the meantime, join myself and Howard Houchen on AxXiom for Liberty Radio

Friday Jan 7, 2010 6-8pm CST
Special Guest Don Casey

Don Casey is the Vice Chair of Alabama’s Alliance for Citizen’s Rights. He and his organization have been at the forefront of many battles to protect private property rights.

“Our system of government has occurred once in the recorded history of mankind.

I ask you, is this the generation that will lay to rest this experiment in limited self-government or is this the generation that will rekindle the great awakenings of the 1700s and bequeath to the next generation the Providential Blessing that we have enjoyed?


Join us Friday to find out more about sustainable development, how this philosophy in incompatible with our system of government and how to drive it out of your town!


Have questions for Mr. Casey? Call-in number is 512-646-1984.

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