The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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A new GIScience application for visualized natural resources management and decision support

TitleA new GIScience application for visualized natural resources management and decision support
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsYang Y-CEthan, Lin Y-FF
JournalTransactions in GIS
Start Page109
Date Published07/2011

This article presents two decision support plug-ins in free GIS software: ArcGIS Explorer Desktop. The ubiquitous WebGIS Analysis Toolkit for Extensive Resources (uWATER) focuses on providing GIS analysis functions: spatial and attribute queries in the public services tool for users with limited access to commercial GIS software. The interface of uWATER is general enough to support decision-making in numerous management issues in natural resources, economics and agriculture. The uWATER-Pumping Assessment (uWATER-PA) toolkit, on the other hand, is an extended package targeting the specific environmental issue of groundwater pumping impacts. The uWATER-PA package is an excellent alternative to evaluating complex groundwater pumping assessment issues before investing significant time, labor, and funds in monitoring and detailed scientific study. It incorporates simulation of the physics of groundwater flow and user interaction into GIS software. A graphical user interface makes both data entry and interpretation of results intuitive to non-technical individuals. Results are presented as colored drawdown maps and can be saved in GIS format for future dissemination. The impact of drawdown on existing wells can be characterized and mapped, through the use of uWATER's spatial query capabilities and the drawdown maps generated by uWATER-PA.