Transcript

00:09We live on a planet composed of diverse land forms, distinct climates, and unique people and cultures.

00:18Every continent, every country, every village holds its own history, its own mysteries.

00:27But at the heart of each of these diverse lands lies something in common that has shaped the past, affects the…

00:33…present, and will mold the future. That something is geography.

00:40Geography is more than places on a map. It's global connections and incredible creatures.

00:46It's people and cultures, economics and politics, and it's essential to understanding our interconnected world.

00:55And yet, maps are still one of the most essential tools that people use to understand geography, the environment and…

01:02…the constant changes of our planet and its inhabitants.

01:08There are political maps showing territorial boundaries. Maps of soil type, weather patterns, elevation data…

01:17…and almost anything that comes to mind. Today, maps are no longer static.

01:24They are alive and changing and bringing geography to life.

01:29Technology such as geographic information systems, or GIS, has made this possible.

01:35Let's discover how GIS works by exploring the fascinating lands of Asia and the many layers of its cultures,…

01:44…features, and people.

01:47GIS reveals the power of geography by providing digital tools to visualize what exists, to gather…

01:54…and interpret tremendous amounts of information in order to model what has happened in the past and predict what…

02:01…may happen in the future. Asia is important in many ways. It is the largest continent…

02:09…encompassing nearly 50 million kilometers of land area, nearly 30 percent of all the land on earth.

02:17…It is a land of extremes, boasting the highest point and the world's tallest land-based mountain…

02:23…towering to 8,848 meters, or 29,028 feet above sea level.

02:31Asia is home to 10 of the 10 highest peaks in the world. At the other extreme, the Dead Sea, at 409 meters, or…

02:41…roughly 1,300 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in Asia and the world.

02:49With GIS, not only can we visualize these peaks and valleys but we can quickly show additional information…

02:56…on the fly and in 3D. Explorers can study the slope of the land, the trails of Mount Everest, and even…

03:04…study weather patterns to plan potential expeditions. Why do climbers favor the southeast ridge trek…

03:12…starting in the south in Nepal, while others choose the northeast ridge route, beginning in Tibet?

03:19GIS can reveal various political and cultural factors, physical and environmental conditions, as well as…

03:26…weather phenomena to help paint a picture that can answer these kinds of questions.

03:33Asia is recognized not only for its large mountain peaks but also for its large and rapidly growing population.

03:40Nine of the top 20 most-populated countries are located in Asia, as illustrated by these hot spots.

03:49Nearly 3.9 billion of the earth's 6.6 billion people live in Asia.

03:56Using this 3D view of population density, we can see how the population is most concentrated in cities…

04:03…and urban settings. Why do some areas contain extreme population density?

04:10A closer look at Mumbai and Kolkata in India will help us understand.

04:16This area is home to hundreds of millions of people, and between them is the Ganges river valley.

04:23This population density map shows high population numbers in red and areas with fewer people in gray.

04:31History and GIS can show us how and why both Mumbai and Kolkata became large cities.

04:39Their close proximity to rivers and the coast allowed them to become strong seaports. They became large cities…

04:46…that could support heavy trade, create transportation routes inland, and provide jobs for its inhabitants.

04:54Crops tend to grow well in fertile valleys where rivers run, and the Ganges is a huge river in a warm climate.

05:02This creates the ideal soil conditions allowing agriculture to thrive, which, in turn, leads to population growth.

05:10And a third factor, called the monsoon, brings rain to India from June to October.

05:16The rainy season is very important to the millions of people who live in southern and eastern Asia.

05:22The monsoons are crucial in sustaining the agriculture and the people of India.

05:27And in other parts of Asia, too much water proved to be devastating.

05:32In 2004, Asia was affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

05:39Using GIS to model the path of a tsunami wave can help communities create evacuation and emergency plans…

05:47…and ultimately save lives.

05:50GIS has been an invaluable tool that can be used to assess damages and help communities in their recovery…

05:58…and rebuilding efforts, whether from a tsunami, hurricane, or fire.

06:03Whether it's too much or too little, water is an essential element for our survival.

06:10The Yangtze River in China is the longest in Asia and the third longest in the world, providing water to…

06:17…rice growing regions in the south of China. Here, too, managing fresh water has become a crucial issue.

06:24China has built the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River for flood control and hydroelectricity.

06:32It is one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in the world.

06:37The dam will flood the river valley behind it, displacing over one million people.

06:43A GIS analytic model of future water levels shows us what the lake behind the dam will look like.

06:50Scientists have predicted the loss of many valuable archaeological and cultural sites as well as effects on the environment.

06:59Again, GIS can be used to model the environmental impact and help scientists to find solutions to minimize man's impact.

07:08For China, the benefit of harnessing the river's power and eliminating the devastating seasonal flooding…

07:14…along the Yangtze River outweighs the historical and ecological loss.

07:20The industrial cities along the river will increase in size as people migrate from the countryside to the cities.

07:28Asian cities are among the largest in the world and will become even bigger in years to come.

07:35By 2030, experts predict that two-thirds of the people in Asia will live in megacities, cities with more than 10 million people.

07:45What problems will arise as cities vie for clean water, clean air, and other resources?

07:52Housing, employment, land-use planning, transportation, and public health are just a few issues.

08:01For instance, in 2007, the avian flu shook the medical community and health organizations around the world.

08:10The avian flu was transmitted from bird to human and causes severe illness in humans who are infected.

08:17Since the speed and distance of modern travel is so great, GIS analysis can be used to track known cases to help…

08:26…scientists set up quarantine sites around the world.

08:30Though not escalating to the level of a pandemic, the deadly implications drew attention that the avian flu…

08:36…was not a problem for Asia alone but for the world. We are not alone.

08:43We share the same problems and discoveries with our neighbors down the block and on the other side of the world.

08:49We are connected by geography, and we must see the interconnection in order to understand the…

08:56…relationships and patterns and the effects of our decisions.

09:00GIS helps us see the layers of our wonderful world.

09:05Learn more about geography and GIS. Get involved. Stay connected, because geography is fun.

Copyright 2014 Esri
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A GIS Journey

See how GIS technology can be used to investigate the fascinating lands of Asia.

  • Recorded: Oct 24th, 2007
  • Runtime: 09:30
  • Views: 15365
  • Published: Jan 30th, 2012
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