Geographical information systems and decision support for environmental management
During the last decade there has been a sharp increase in awareness of the adverse impacts of mankind’s technological development on the environment. This has led to many new initiatives aimed at researching and understanding the mechanisms involved, and to new legislation aimed at minimizing or ameliorating the negative effects of development. These actions are generating growing amounts of information on the phenomena and problems concerned and this is leading, in some areas of activity, to information management problems. At the same time there has been a remarkable increase in the power and diffusion of information technology which can be applied to support and analyse the information generated, and one of the key elements in the new armoury is the geographical information system (GIS).