GIS apps for environment related issues are growing by the day. GIS facilitates efficient resource management within an organization and outside it as well. One of the end-uses of this can thus be: enabling the public to report environmental issues to the powers that be. How? It's just that the data sets are linked together by GIS with the help of common data like latitude-longitude or addresses. This facilitates sharing of data between members of the public, government departments and private environmental organizations.
GIS APPS of the day have revolutionized legal prosecution for environment related violations. There are GIS-visualization-tools today that are used to furnish illustrated evidence of environmental offence or pollution. Planning and preparedness for possible environmental hazard has become much more efficient due to GIS. Pollutions such as oil spill, soil and water contamination, combustion, chemical spill etc. can be addressed better with the use of environment related GIS tools. Citizens can report pollution issues through GIS enabled web applications effortlessly.
GIS tools have become indispensable in both pre and post pollution scenario. Prevention of pollution needs GIS based assessment of risk potentials. Post pollution: cleanup drives and other corrective measures are better monitored by GIS apps.
GIS tools have become critical to disaster management. Mitigation of natural hazards needs extreme preparedness. GIS facilitates that. Monitoring of disaster prone areas and calamity related risk assessment today need to be GIS integrated. This applies for both natural and man made disasters. In case of man made disasters like fire for instance, management of fire tenders can be powered by GIS for excellent output. GIS is proving to be indispensable to several other domains like national security, elections, travel and tourism, insurance etc.
GIS apps are meant to empower the citizens more. 311 issues are integrated to GIS today. There are many environment related 311 issues which are integrated to GIS. Citizens can report environmental 311 issues like oil spill, contamination, combustion, water quality, chemical spill and a host of other such configurable issue types. One just need to enter the address of the pollution site or - even better - can just point the location on the map to report an issue.
CoolApps a sub-domain of Cybertech has a GIS tool called Environmental 311 which enables citizens to report environment related issues through an interactive Web 2.0 interface. The app has similar features as aforesaid. One can add comments on environment issues through this tool. All environment related comments are for public display. By registering email or Twitter ID citizens can receive updates of issues they report. Photos of oil spill etc. can be uploaded as well while reporting the same.
Robert Alfred is the contributing writer of Coolapps.com. He is specialized in writing articles about GIS APPS.