GIS is a powerful tool for environmental data analysis and planning. GIS stores spatial information (data) in a digital mapping environment. A digital basemap can be overlaid with data or other layers of information onto a map in order to view spatial information and relationships. GIS allows better viewing and understanding physical features and the relationships that influence in a given critical environmental condition. Factors, such as steepness of slopes, aspects, and vegetation, can be viewed and overlaid to determine various environmental parameters and impact analysis.
GIS can also display and analyze aerial photos. Digital information can be overlaid on photographs to provide environmental data analysts with more familiar views of landscapes and associated data. GIS can provide a quick, comparative view of hazards (highly prone areas) and risks (areas of high risk which may occur) and areas to be safeguarded.
On completion of Data analysis GIS helps in Planning and Managing the environmental hazards and risks. In order to plan and monitor the environmental problems, the assessment of hazards and risks becomes the foundation for planning decisions and for mitigation activities. GIS supports activities in environmental assessment, monitoring, and mitigation and can also be used for generating Environmental models. Below are some of the applicable areas where GIS can be implemented for effective planning and management (See also Figure 1)