GIS In Ecology
Geographic Information Systems, or GIS for short, are rapidly becoming an essential tool in many areas of ecological research. However, getting to grips with how to correctly use GIS in ecological research is not necessarily straight-forward.
The would-be ecological GIS user is faced with a whole new set of unfamiliar and confusing jargon, making it difficult to know where to start. This difficulty is further amplified by the fact that most training, instruction and advice currently available has been developed to teach the GIS skills required by geographers rather than ecologists. Many ecologists are put off by these difficulties and abandon their attempts to use GIS in their research.
The key is to not try to learn how to use GIS as
an abstract set of concepts and tasks, and certainly not to learn how
geographers use it (why, for example, would an ecologist ever need to know how
to work out what the best site is for a new superstore?). Rather, the key is to
specifically learn how to apply it to the type of tasks which are needed to use
GIS in ecological research.
We aim to do this using the type of language that ecologists can understand, and by showing them specifically how to use GIS to do the everyday tasks ecologists need to know in order to quickly start using GIS in their research.
Through this, we hope to greatly expand the use of GIS in ecological research, to the benefit of all.
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