GEOG 469
Energy Industry Applications of GIS

The Limits of GIS as a Means to Build Consensus


Reading assignment

Read pages 3-14 of Chapter 9, “Integrating Geographic Data,” in the open textbook Nature of Geographic Information. This should only take 10-15 minutes. (You can ignore the “Try This!” activities that are meant for a different class.) Chapter 9 describes how GIS was used in attempts to identify suitable and acceptable sites for low level radioactive waste (LLRW) storage facilities in Pennsylvania and New York.

Here are some of the things you should know and be able to do after reading the chapter:

  • Discuss the difference between raster and vector approaches to GIS-based site suitability assessments.
  • Describe how a GIS “buffer” operation might be used in a site suitability analysis.
  • Explain why the GIS approach failed to win the public’s confidence.