Geospatial Technology, Diplomacy and Development

 

Geospatial Information Systems: Powerful Tools for Diplomacy and Development

Office of the Science and Technology Adviser, U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
March 9, 2009

Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) are an increasingly vital resource for national security, development, public health, the environment, and other aspects of foreign policy. A GIS integrates remotely sensed satellite or aerial imagery, Global Positioning System (GPS) information, and many other kinds of geographically referenced data, using mapping software to create a visually accessible display. For example, crop yields, prices, and socioeconomic data can all be factored into assessments of food security across a particular region. Policy makers are using such tools for:

  • Urban planning for transportation, water, energy, sanitation, land use and service delivery
  • Environmental monitoring of deforestation, desertification, illegal logging, land use and land cover
  • Natural resource management, including freshwater and marine ecosystems
  • Delineation and mapping of watersheds, resolving water disputes across international boundaries
  • Public health, mapping of disease transmission for prevention and treatment efforts
  • Emergency preparedness and disaster response
  • Monitoring and planning for effects of climate change
  • Monitoring human rights violations
  • Verifying arms control and nonproliferation treaties

… for full text of article, visit: http://www.state.gov/g/stas/2009/120150.htm

 

Also visit the following websites:

American Association for the Advancement of Science  (AAAS)  Science and Human Rights Program:

URISA GIS Corps

Operating under the auspices of URISA, GISCorps coordinates short term, volunteer based GIS services to underprivileged communities

Vision & Goals

GISCorps volunteers’ services will help to improve the quality of life by:

  • Supporting humanitarian relief.
  • Enhancing environmental analysis.
  • Encouraging/fostering economic development.
  • Supporting community planning and development.
  • Strengthening local capacity by adopting and using information technology.
  • Supporting health and education related activities.

GISCorps implements URISA’s vision of advancing the effective use of spatial information technologies.

GISCorps makes available highly specialized GIS expertise to improve the well being of developing and transitional communities without exploitation or regard for profit.

GISCorps coordinates the open exchange of volunteer GIS expertise cooperatively among and along with other agencies.

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