Geographic information system as country-level development and monitoring tool, Senegal example
Geographic information systems (GIS) allow an investigator the capability to merge and analyze numerous types of country-level resource data. Hypothetical resource analysis applications in Senegal were conducted to illustrate the utility of a GIS for development planning and resource monitoring. Map and attribute data for soils, vegetation, population, infrastructure, and administrative units were merged to form a database within a GIS. Several models were implemented using a GIS to: analyze development potential for sustainable dryland agriculture; prioritize where agricultural development should occur based upon a regional food budget; and monitor dynamic events with remote sensing. The steps for implementing a GIS analysis are described and illustrated, and the use of a GIS for conducting an economic analysis is outlined. Using a GIS for analysis and display of results opens new methods of communication between resource scientists and decision makers. Analyses yielding country-wide map output and detailed statistical data for each level of administration provide the advantage of a single system that can serve a variety of users.