Arctic GIS Workshop Poster Abstract
Use of GIS in the Synthesis of Environmental Change and Native Whaling in the Western Arctic
A Geographic Information System is being developed for the western Arctic using ArcInfo 8 as the software platform. The goal of the G.I.S. is to provide a context for examining changes in the physical environment commensurate, at least in part, with those of native whaling in the region. Of particular interest to the study are measures of both direct and indirect influences on the access of native hunters to whales. Central to this issue are parameters of sea-ice concentration, sea-ice extent, patterns of pack drift, sea-surface temperatures, and sea level change.
For the historic period, data have been imported into the GIS as FTP files from the World Data Center for Snow and Ice, as well as several other environmental databases. To date, the datasets for sea ice concentration and sea surface temperature for the past century in the North Pacific and Arctic ocean have been incorporated into the GIS. These two century-long data sets have also been animated to permit analysis of changing annual and seasonal patterns. In addition, basic physical geographic layers such as relief and hydrography have also been developed.
Anthropological and archeological data layers are still being built and imported into the GIS. These layers include, but are not limited to, the distribution of human settlement over time and the history of procurement and demographic histories of whales from both historical and archeological records.
When completed, the GIS will be available on the World Wide Web.