UNITAR Tutorial Workbooks

The UNITAR Tutorial Workbooks include tutorials and data that allow users to explore the use of GIS and image processing techniques.Each workbook is available to download in PDF format and includes two sections:

  • A review paper that explores the use of GIS analytical techniques in the defined field of study, complete with extensive bibliography;
  • A set of exercises that allows the user to apply these techniques to geographically diverse case study problems using real digital data sets and GIS software.

The exercises are written for use with the TerrSet software, which is not included with the workbooks. Workbooks are relevant for use with all versions but the exercises within the workbooks contain instructions specific to the operation of the IDRISI Taiga version. However, the general logic and functionality of each of the exercises is the same.

The content of each workbook is described in detail below.

Applications in Forestry

by Jean McKendry, J. Ronald Eastman, Kevin St. Martin, and Michele Fulk
review paper by Jean McKendry and J. Ronald Eastman

Explores the important role of GIS in forest management and resource assessment. Case study exercises include:

  • General forest management and GIS: locating optimal harvest areas
  • Habitat analysis in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada
  • Mapping suitable locations for reforestation: eucalyptus in Africa
  • Gypsy moth defoliation of forests in northeastern North America
  • Forest management: getting the trees to the mill
  • Analyzing deforestation and soil loss in northern Thailand
  • Monitoring land use in Rondônia, Brazil using AVHRR and TM imagery

Applications in Coastal Zone Research and Management

edited by Kevin St. Martin
review paper by Darius Bartlett

Explores the role GIS can play in coastal zone research and management. Growing pressures due to development and pollution have made environmental assessment and management a new priority in coastal zone research. Case study exercises include:

  • Shrimp habitat inventory, Florida, USA
  • Aquaculture suitability analysis, Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Eelgrass mapping from low-altitude aerial video imagery, Massachusetts, USA
  • Modeling sea level rise and the effects of database error, Rhode Island, USA
  • Bathymetric modeling from satellite imagery, Dominican Republic
  • Change analysis using satellite imagery, Dominican Republic
  • Quantifying beach sand erosion and deposition, Adelaide, Australia
  • Viewshed analysis, Spain

GIS and Mountain Environments

edited by Kristin Schneider and Paul Robbins
review paper by Ian Heywood, James Petch, and Martin Price

Explores the unique considerations that mountain characteristics pose to the GIS user in any field who works within a mountain environment. Ultimately, the impact of mountain characteristics on planning is raised. Case study exercises include:

  • Modeling mountain characteristics in raster and vector, and interpreting information derived from each model
  • Querying land use, elevation and aspect relationships, Dhulikel Watershed, Nepal
  • Classification of satellite imagery, Bennington, Vermont, USA, and Dhading District, Nepal
  • Cost-distance modeling of access to health care, Dhading District, Nepal
  • Modeling the impact of mountains on regional climates, Puna Atacama, Chile
  • Predicting the distribution of ecological units, Pyrenees, Spain

Applications in Hazard Assessment and Management

edited by Srinivas Emani
review paper by Srinivas Emani

Explores the role of GIS in identifying, assessing, and managing both natural and technological hazards. Case study exercises include:

  • Mapping and assessing natural hazards, Ecuador
  • Assessing socioeconomic vulnerability to extreme storms and associated flooding, Revere, Massachusetts, USA
  • Assessing vulnerability of the Gulf Coast, USA, to erosion and inundation
  • Risk modeling for hazardous materials transportation, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  • Nonpoint source pollution modeling, Timber Creek Watershed, Texas, USA
  • Using remote sensing to assess the midwest flood of 1993, Missouri, USA
  • Time series analysis as an early warning tool for disaster mitigation, Africa