Geographic information systems (GIS) have become the most widely-used tools within geography as well as other disciplines for the purposes of spatial analysis, mapping, and database management. Maps say a thousand words and this is never more true than when using a GIS. A GIS helps us to conceptualize complex issues and display information in an easy-to-read fashion. There are also innumerable tools found within various GIS platforms that allow us to perform intricate tasks including network/routing analysis, various interpolations, extractions and overlays, 3D surface creation, georeferencing, spatial statistics, conversions, projections, generalizations, etc. - the list never ends! I use GIS on a daily basis and almost every project I have ever worked on has utilized at least some aspect of GIS or remote sensing. It is a powerful database tool and allows people, schools, companies, and governments to share data easily through the use of geodatabases and GIS map servers accessible through various websites. The Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) seen on the left was accessed through FEMA's national flood hazard GIS map server. There are many free GIS platforms too! At ETSU, we recently developed a GIS Data Hub as part of an ongoing collaboration with Facilities.
_Satellite Imagery Analysis
The ability to analyze, transform, and extract data from remotely sensed imagery is critical in the field of geography. I have participated on many projects that utilized remote sensing techniques and satellite/aerial imagery analysis. Some of my major areas of research in this subject include:
- Land use/land cover change
- Spectral enhancement indices
- Principal Components Analysis (PCA)
- Thermal calculations
- Image classifications
- LiDAR handling and mosaics
- Specific surface signatures
- Potential habitat conservation sites
- Parks - forest inventory
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