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Geospatial Analysis Center

GIS and Sustainability

GIS is increasingly viewed as an important tool in the development of sustainable technologies. GIS provides planning agencies and policy makers with the ability to visualize data that can assist with managing development, growth, and resources. Well-informed decisions are a critical component of improving sustainability, and GIS can play a large role in the decision-making process to plan for a self-sustaining future.

Following are recent examples of how GIS is integrated into various aspects of the field of Sustainability:

  • The SUN-AREA Research Project used GIS to find that 20 percent of German rooftops would work well for the production of solar power
  • The University of Arizona is using a GIS model for finding good locations for photovoltaic solar panels, while still complying with environmental regulations
  • The Renewable Energy Atlas in Vermont used GIS to create a website for citizens to visualize data regarding renewable energy prospects for any county or town in the state
  • Wind power developers in Montana's Cascade County are using GIS to find suitable land for wind energy production
  • The Kiunga Marine National Reserve in Kenya is using GIS to study marine conservation and sustainable fishing practices

Geothermal map of North America

Geothermal Map of North America, 2004.


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