Geoprocessing and Spatial Planning

Some concepts and applications

Authored by: Jorge Xavier da Silva , Tiago Badre Marino , Maria Hilde de Barros Goes

The Routledge Handbook of Planning Research Methods

Print publication date:  November  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415727952
eBook ISBN: 9781315851884
Adobe ISBN: 9781317917038


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The recent development of geotechnologies has brought many advances to environmental studies. Geoprocessing techniques have increasingly being used in rural and urban planning and management as an integrative procedure dealing directly and simultaneously with both the spatial and the taxonomic research dimensions. They contribute to the creation of reasonable theoretical and practical assemblages, not only of data but also of knowledge concerning environmental problems. Although centred in geoprocessing and in previous works developed by the authors, this chapter discusses concepts, methods and techniques applied to varied research fields which deal with spatial data generation and analysis, such as digital cartography, global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing and, hopefully, spatial planning. This chapter begins by illustrating why there is a growing interest in environmental research in the “geo” procedures and problems (Xavier-da-Silva and Marino, 2010, 2011). In a second stage, we clarify several terms, such as geodiversity (Xavier-da-Silva et al., 2001, p. 304), an expression described as a representation of the variability of environmental characteristics; geotopology (Xavier-da-Silva and Zaidan, 2007, p. 20), which considers proximities and types of dispersion; and geoinclusion (Xavier-da-Silva and Marino, 2011), which may refer, for example, to the insertion of data about the population and its activities into their geographical – physical, biotic and socio-economic – context. These concepts pervade the application of methods and techniques applied in the following examples described in this chapter: (1) survey and management of water resources’ location for fire emergencies and (2) the creation of an analytical structure to work with the digital maps (spatial management tree) – the mapping of evaluated positive and negative environmental conditions.

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