Some of the key examples of where geospatial information can be important are during emergency responses during natural disasters especially for purposes of evacuation arrangement, and damage estimation assignments. MarcFarlane (2005) indicates that it is important to use geoinformatics to prevent disasters rather than try to deal with them after they happen. Geoinformatics assists those involved in the emergency processes by providing the necessary data and giving appropriate plans on how and from what point the hit areas should be approached. This makes the whole process convenient and effective since there is no time wasted in guessing the steps to take and the actions taken are accurate and appropriate (Oosterom et al. 2005). It has to be noted however that there are a number of difficulties that are faced in using geoinformatics to manage disaster as explained by Zerger & Smith (2003).
The transport network in any region is highly influenced by the geographical features in the area both during and after their construction. Therefore, in order to properly plan and manage such transport network, especially for road, water, and rail, it is important that the geographical data is gathered, analyzed, and appropriately interpreted. This will enable those involved in the construction and the maintenance of such networks to find the most appropriate routes suitable for construction. This will also guide them in choosing the kind of technology and material that they will use in such areas. This is important because when the wrong materials and technologies are applied in the construction and maintenance of such transport networks then their sustainability will be very low and such networks can be dangerous to the users. Geoinformatics is effective in such cases since it is possible to create a computer model of the networks before construction and predict the possible behavior which is one form of non-destructive and safe testing.
The other field that definitely draws benefits from the use of geoinformatics is agriculture since it is solely dependent on the environment and environmental changes directly affect it. It is very vital for those practicing agriculture to have the full details of an area they intend to use for their activities. This will enable them identify the right kind of agricultural practice that should be carried out in a particular area and the necessary methods. Since future trends can also be predicted the agriculturalists will get to know the various adjustments that they need to make to accommodate such shifts in trends. This field shares the same benefits as those for meteorology since the main advantage that meteorology gets from geoinformatics is the ability to predict future trends in climate and climatic changes. For a long time meteorological departments had a very challenging task since they relied on natural occurrences to predict future trends but the emergence of geoinformatics brought a revolution since there was no more reliance on natural occurrences but rather on computer generated models.
Due to the various applications of geoinformatics in the various fields then a number of advancements have been observed in the current century. The use of geoinformatics has led to an improvement in the weather forecasting since forecasts are more accurate and cover a wider range of time than before which has led to improved planning in transport networks and other activities that heavily rely on weather forecast reports. It has also led a significant reduction in the loss of life and property in times of disaster since response is faster and the actions taken are more appropriate and timely. It is also easier to monitor and protect ocean resources through the data collection and analysis that is accurately carried out. There is also an increase in the understanding, assessing, prediction, mitigation and adaptation to climate variation and change that takes place over and over since individuals are made aware of such shifts in advance thus have time to come up with alternative ideas to cope with such situations. Supporting sustainable agriculture and combating land degradation is no longer an uphill task, thanks to geoinformatics which has played a key role in providing the necessary information for such actions. It is now easier to comprehend the effect of environmental aspects on the health and well-being of humans. Monitoring and managing energy resources has also been made easier since it is possible to tell when an energy source is about to be depleted and at the same time identify an existing energy source that is ready for use. All these benefits bring about the development of the capacity to formulate ecological forecasts which is very vital for the survival of the environment and ultimately for that of the human population.
Summary and conclusion
Given the wide use of geoinformatics in different fields, it plays a key role in the 21st century. The fields that benefit from the use of geoinformatics can seriously malfunction or be inefficient without its implementation. Geoinformatics has proved to be very important not only to individuals but also to the entire community. Many governments and states heavily rely on geoinformatics for their security system, economic planning and for the general well-being of the citizens. In fact geoinformatics has penetrated into the education sector since many instructors use it to illustrate ideas and has proved to be a very effective tool in doing so.
Since its inception in the early 1970's geoinformatics has continued to develop from one stage to another. However, it has not reached the end and there are future advancements that are expected to take place due to the ever evolving technology. The easy advancement of geoinformatics was brought about by the fact that people readily and rapidly adopted its use; this was coupled by the quick advancement in technology that has taken place in the early years in the 21st century.
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