Stream Selection Automation through GIS
The accessibility of authoritative and comprehensive geospatial data allows for tailored analyses over a wide range of subject areas and resolutions. One such application of GIS is a regional study of streams (and other measured waterbodies) to identify sections that would most or least benefit from restoration efforts. Criteria for the selection process can be as vague or as specific as required (e.g. cadastral attributes, parcel ownership, zoning, elevation, proximity to points of interest, etc.) provided the data used are of acceptable quality and integrity. Data of this nature have become increasingly more available as time has progressed, specifically those under the authorship and custodianship of a government entity or organization (from the local through the federal level). With sound and reliable data, the flexibility of GIS enables program models and scripts to be built and customized to fit the specific needs of the project, allowing for semi-automation of stream analysis and section selection over a relatively large geographic area (in this example, a large municipality or small region). The end result is a visualized dataset of stream sections that would benefit from restoration work based on specified criteria, which can be modified to suit the needs of the end user.