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Gis In Environmental Assessment: A Review Of Current Issues And Future Needs

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    (Girobi Environmental Services, Spain; Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

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    The generation and use of spatial information has significantly increased in recent years. Its importance has been magnified by the INSPIRE Directive, which has subsequently led to specific requirements within several legislative frameworks, such as the Water Framework and Noise Directives, for generating spatial data and spatially-specific outputs, as well as encouraging the creation of spatial data infrastructures at European level. The increased availability of spatial datasets resulting from these initiatives facilitates and promotes the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in planning and environmental assessment, among other sectoral applications. Arguably, the inclusion of geographic information through GIS supports and enhances environmental planning processes, enabling a rapid and objective analysis of environmental issues, and presenting information in a spatial and graphical manner. However, there are a number of considerations for the successful application of spatial data and GIS, and a number of issues remain affecting consistency and validity of results. This paper provides a critical review of current issues affecting spatial dataset management and use (such as format, scale, completeness, timeliness and metadata), and discusses common GIS methods and existing constraints to their application in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It concludes outlining existing opportunities to optimise the contribution of spatial data to environmental planning, and establishing future research and practice needs to enhance GIS use in SEA and EIA practice.

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    Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 01 ()
    Pages: 1-23

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    Handle: RePEc:wsi:jeapmx:v:14:y:2012:i:01:p:1250007-1-1250007-23
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