Monthly Archives: November 2011
Designing a more sustainable future
The earth’s climate is changing, leading to serious problems for humanity in areas such as food security, health, and public safety.
As our environment changes around us, we need to adapt swiftly. But where do we start? Should we reinforce or rebuild existing structures? Or should we abandon existing settlements and relocate the population in some cases? And how can mass rebuilding/relocation efforts be best accomplished from human, environmental, and economic perspectives? Continue reading
In modern society, buildings are where we spend the vast majority of our waking and sleeping hours. Our facilities are man-made ecosystems—vast assemblages of interdependent living and non-living components. Facilities have become the primary habitat for the human species.
As technology advances at a record pace, our man-made ecosystems are becoming ever more complex and sophisticated. These intricate collections of materials, infrastructure, machinery, and people, with countless spatial and temporal relationships and dependencies, require progressively more sophisticated tools to help us design and manage them.
The recognition of facilities as habitat for modern man is leading to a revolution in facilities management. GIS technology is designed specifically for the management and analysis of spatial relationships, and offers many benefits to the facilities management community. It only seems logical to manage, model, and design our new man-made ecosystem with the same tried and true tools used to manage, model, and design traditional ecosystems. And this is already happening.
Geography—the scientific foundation of GIS—has for many years been concerned with exploring and describing our world. Historically, explorers lead grand expeditions to the farthest reaches of the globe. This golden age of exploration contributed greatly to our understanding of how our world works.
This was followed by the space age—an era where we left the planet and turned our cameras and sensors to look back on our home, giving us an entirely new perspective. Bound to the surface of earth for millennia, humankind was getting its first opportunity to look at our planetary system as a whole—from a few hundred miles up in space.