What is GIS?
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are complex software programmes that can be used to collect, store, visualize and analyse spatial data (E.g: location, area, direction …). GIS can be a single computer software or a collection of software that follow geographical standards.
Application of GIS in conservation
GIS has many different applications for conservation and biodiversity focused research. One of the most common applications of GIS is for the creation of maps to help conservationists understand the state of biodiversity in a given area at different spatial scales.
GIS is also a tool to manage ecological/biological data. Data from many different studies can be combined together by GIS for analysis. Information with different scales, from global scale (e.g. satellite images, global currents…) to small-scale (e.g. records of species in a area) can be pooled and processed together with GIS helps.
GIS software also contributes to researchers exploring future scenarios biodiversity. It can be used to predict the potential occurrences of rare species in un-surveyed sites or estimate the abundance of a species in large areas. GIS can also help predict the change in habitat, species distribution and abundance in the future. All that information is crucial for biodiversity conservation planning.
GIS in CBES
The Center for Biodiversity conservation and Endangered Species has been committed to apply GIS in our research. At CBES, we have the Department of Data and Geographical Information Systems, a dedicated unit that study and apply GIS in solving real-life conservation questions. This department consists of the passionate and certified researchers who have gone through intensive training on GIS and ecology. We are working on various GIS topics, from building mobile app to collect accurate field data, remote sensing-habitat mapping, to cutting-edge species distribution models. We firmly believe GIS will be the key tool for studying and protecting biodiversity in Vietnam.