The LUCID IMS Module: Considerations for the Development of a System to Share Scientific Analysis Results with a Global Audience

Publication Date


Committee Chair

Glenn Hyman, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Nicholas J. W. Thomas
Karen K. Kemp, Ph.D.


GIS projects are constantly faced with the challenge of finding the most viable, fast and efficient means for communicating their analytical results. To meet the challenge, some opt for paper reports and CDs. However, the global distribution of their audience makes it significantly difficult to update, maintain and share the information efficiently. As a result, other projects have chosen Internet websites as a solution. While regular websites can handle almost all types of information, the inherent nature of geospatial information and data poses a special challenge and therefore calls for Web GISs or Internet map servers, which integrate GIS capabilities with Internet technology.

In 2002, a need arose to establish a prototype Internet Map Server application for the “Land Use Change Analysis as an Approach for Investigating Biodiversity Loss and Land Degradation” project in East Africa. The application (map service) will be used to communicate the results of the various analyses being conducted by members of the Land Use, Change, Impacts and Assessment (LUCID) team in East Africa. Given that the team’s analyses are still ongoing, the author carried out two pilot studies – a change detection analysis and population distribution modeling for part of the Embu-Mbeere region in Kenya- which sought to determine relationships between population pressure and land use change within the study area. The results of the pilot studies provided content for the development of the interactive map server.

The available information were two satellite images dated 1987 and 2001 respectively, as well as population, roads, towns, and land use/land cover of varying projections, scales, currencies and qualities. The two images were retroactively classified using ancillary data from the project as well as other sources. In addition, population data for 1979, 1989 and 1999 was distributed using accessibility as a proxy for population distribution. An Internet map service was then created, and the results of the abovementioned analyses were published on the site.

The ultimate goal of this study was to demonstrate the use of the Internet as a complementary means for sharing the analytical results of a GIS project with a global audience through an Internet map server application. Beyond the creation of the prototype application, the author also identified the issues faced in its design, as well as alternatives for the resolution of these issues.

Full text is available at the University of Redlands


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