Spatial Analysis / GIS
Much of IEc’s resource management and environmental policy work has a prominent spatial dimension. As geographic information system (GIS) technologies have progressed, IEc has advanced its own spatial analysis capabilities. We have a long history of strategically applying GIS software, tools, and methods to illuminate spatial problems and refine analytic approaches in natural resource damage assessment, demographic analysis, economic analysis, regulatory analysis, and ecosystem dynamics.
Successful GIS analysis begins with a strong geospatial data foundation. Data collection may entail drawing from our in-house data libraries; navigating online GIS data resources; or working with clients and subcontractors to develop original datasets. We are experts in converting spatial data for compatibility and vetting data for accuracy, and we frequently develop robust geodatabases to serve as repositories for spatial data. Our analytic capabilities run the gamut from basic spatial queries and mapping, to sophisticated geospatial models that simulate scenarios and outcomes in the realms of ecology, transportation, demography, and public health. IEc’s final GIS products adhere to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata standard.
IEc staff have advanced degrees in geography, GIS, and environmental studies, and are highly trained in both the practical application and theory of spatial analysis. We have expertise in several GIS software applications, including ArcGIS, QGIS, and Idrisi. Our expertise in Python and VBA programming allows us to create GIS models that interface seamlessly with statistical software and other applications (e.g., STATA, R, MatLab, Microsoft Access). We use web GIS platforms and code libraries, including GeoJSON, OpenLayers, PostGIS, and ArcOnline to create web-based solutions for displaying, investigating, and exporting spatial information.
IEc frequently collects GIS data across a wide variety of environmental, economic, and social parameters, and builds and administers digital data inventories to organize geographic data. For The Nature Conservancy, IEc compiled spatial data for all Oregon and Washington estuary boundaries and classifications. We created a comprehensive geodatabase with specified rules and attribute information to organize the data, which researchers and conservationists used in developing the Nursery Functions of U.S. West Coast Estuaries report.
IEc has extensive experience in developing metadata that follow FGDC compliant standards to provide users with background information on the data, including source and vintage. Where appropriate, IEc includes links to the source information online or other bibliographic references. This approach facilitates data sharing, quality control, data re-creation.
IEc routinely implements basic spatial queries (e.g., distance, area, intersection) and incorporates geographic data into analyses and supporting visual aids such as maps. In addition, IEc builds complex geospatial models to accurately simulate conditions in the real world, such as contamination concentrations, land cover changes, and hydrologic flows. Our clients frequently use our modeled GIS products and maps to assist in communications with the public, peer review committees, and senior management.