GIS For Sustainable Living

Environmental Systems Research Institute

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Geographic Information System (GIS) software is one of the most powerful mappings and spatial analytics technology available. Businesses rely on ArcGIS to determine new locations, understand customers, and see real-time growth trends. Governments at all levels trust ArcGIS to make their communities smarter, safer, and more economically viable. Institutions rely on GIS to develop the critical thinking and spatial analysis skills needed in today's globalized workforce. From safeguarding crews to satisfying customers, utilities use ArcGIS to mitigate risk through a clear, real-time operational picture.

Authors

R Vyshakh

R Vyshakh

Abhishek Ranjan

Abhishek Ranjan

Kashish Goel

Kashish Goel

Kritika Vijay

Kritika Vijay

Janesha Khandelwal

Janesha Khandelwal

Prashant Sachwani

Prashant Sachwani

School

Goa Institute of Management

Goa Institute of Management

Professor

Divya Singhal

Divya Singhal

Innovation

Many state governments use GIS software to monitor deforestation or improvement and forest cover. If there is an unauthorized cutting of trees happening, the action is taken against the people, and new trees are planted so that the forest cover goes up to preserve flora and fauna in the forest areas and also manage the bodies of water. In terms of water management, hydrology is one area where the software is used. Mapping of reservoirs that might have dried up and then observing what the level of change is over the years, how the water table is moving, how to recharge the water level, also the management of rivers because rivers carry a lot of water from one place to another. Over a period of time and due to urbanization, the rivers catchment areas get depleted. For creating pathways for water flow, NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga) uses the software to manage the water flowing to the Ganges; they're also trying to remove all the pollutants that flow into the river.

Most of the sustainability goals will benefit from using GIS, whether it is about poverty, health, or providing a better environment for people and better water to people, along with building smart, sustainable communities. People move for better living conditions, better work & employment opportunities, better-earning opportunities, so they move from villages to cities. And once that movement happens, urban areas feel a lot of strain on their resources. That's what is happening in India, which causes pressure on resources like electricity and water and challenges like traffic management and security.

GIS For Sustainable Living

Inspiration

Most of the cities had data of their health care facilities, schools, government offices, etc., i.e., those places where citizens visited frequently. More importantly, the data included the exact location in terms of latitude and longitude. With all of these, a portal was created for many cities after the initial few POC’s were declared successful.

The GIS portal had various points of interest for citizens, including all the major destinations that a citizen visited frequently. The next challenge was to include all the features that would assist them like the operation timings, holidays, how to reach there, etc. With all of these present, many cities quickly accepted the innovation and helped them get started on their journey towards becoming a smart city. This was implemented in about 20 cities where they installed the portals, integrated the data, and made it accessible to the citizens. Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Indore, Dharamshala were some of the cities where it was initially implemented. Mr. Kumar also pointed out that this innovation emerged because when they spoke to many of the city officers on the data available, they noticed a similar pattern in many places. They understood that the data existed, and no further investment was required in terms of data collection. The solution was already ready, and the entire thing could be configured quickly. They were able to show the results to the higher government officials within two to three months.

Overall impact

First, the area of disaster management in our country is a major impact of the innovation. As a nation, India faces several large and small disasters every year, and it keeps on affecting the lives of the common people. This technology fits very well in those situations and has been deployed by governments like Andhra Pradesh and research organizations like the National Institute of Ocean Technology, INCOIS, etc. For example, if a cyclone was approaching, these organizations could come up with where and when it was likely to make landfall and the amount of rainfall expected. This information is passed on to the district administration, who uses this to evacuate people to safer places and decide on recovery and rehabilitation steps. All the planning is done based on these departments' critical information, and they use GIS to map the whole area. Due to this, many lives are saved every year, and it plays a huge role in the betterment of society.

Secondly, even in the case of COVID, they teamed up with many government organizations by providing free software for 6 months and providing free services in setting up a GIS system. In the critical moment, when the time was of the highest essence, they made the entire process easier by not letting these organizations worry about purchase orders. GIS dashboards and portals were set up in many cities to monitor the spread of the pandemic and run analytics on the data to predict areas where the disease is going to spread rapidly. They worked with NDMA, NIC in many cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Gurgaon, and many states use their software like West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Ladakh, Maharashtra, and UP. All data, including the number of new cases, cases where people lost their lives, etc., are considered. Quarantine centers, isolation centers, and hospitals are also mapped. Hence, the city administration will have the entire view of assets to take appropriate actions and decisions.

And finally, many states are also using the software to monitor and manage pollution through regional, remote sensing centers. These centers get satellite data, and the GIS software is used to analyze the data to find whether the pollution is due to stubble burning or whether it’s something else that is the cause. Appropriate action is then taken to reduce pollution.

Business benefit

Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations, including the world’s largest cities and most national governments. The number of employees has risen over the past couple of years.

Esri encourages creativity, conversation, and collaboration. The employees are committed to the idea that we can—and must—make the world a better place. The staff's come from all corners of the world, working in small teams to make big ideas happen.

Social and environmental benefit

When asked about the effect of innovation on society and the environment, Mr. Kumar explained it from various angles. First, the area of disaster management in our country. As a nation, India faces several large and small disasters every year, and it keeps on affecting the lives of the common people. And this technology fits very well in those situations and has been deployed by governments like Andhra Pradesh and research organizations like the National Institute of Ocean Technology, INCOIS. For example, if a cyclone was approaching, these organizations could figure out where and when it was likely to make landfall and the amount of rainfall expected.

This information is passed on to the district administration, who uses this to evacuate people to safer places and decide on recovery and rehabilitation steps. All the planning is done based on these departments' critical information, and they use GIS to map the whole area. Due to this, many lives are saved every year, and it plays a huge role in the betterment of society.

Interview

Mr. Agendra Kumar, President

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Environmental Systems Research Institute

Environmental Systems Research Institute

IN

Business Website: https://www.esri.in/en-in/home

Year Founded: 1996

Number of Employees: 501 to 1000

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, offers the most powerful mapping and spatial analytics technology. Esri was founded to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems by supporting users’ important work with a commitment to science, sustainability, community, education, research, and positive change.