The following steps were followed to achieve these aims:
Four major processing were carried out on the acquired data (Figure 2). This includes data preparation, integration, modification, and spatial analysis. Figure 2. Data Processing for the location of new visitor centre within the Elkhorn Slough.
The greater Elkhorn Slough as it is generally called is located east of highway 1 at 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA 95076 California USA (Figure 1). The Elkhorn slough reserve contains nearly 700 varying species of marine mammals, birds, fishes, and invertebrates (Antrim, 1981). Being a tidal lagoon and seasonal estuary, it is made up of some tidal dependent rocks and vegetations that are submerged within the shallow zones of the water (Brown, 2002).
Elkhorn slough foundation is responsible for the conservation and restoration of the Elkhorn slough (Schoenherr, 1984).
The varying components of the ecosystem had made the slough very popular to visitors and being considered as a tourist centre for recreational purposes (Nybakken, 1977). Studies have revealed the susceptibility of the Slough to tidal influences, resulting in the rapid increase of the dissolved nutrient level making it the largest of all estuaries in the United States (Caffery et al, 1997, 2002, & 2007).
Locating new visitor sites must consider the sensitive habitats found at the slough, and to preserve the aesthetic integrity of the landscape (Mulligan, 2010). GIS have been applied to determine optimal location for new infrastructures including new site development (Benoit&Clarke 1997, Zhao et al, 2007, Choong-Sung et al.). Suitable locations can be analysed in terms of their accessibility and sensitivity to the environmental conditions.
Studies have discussed the functionality of GIS to access the social, economic, and environmental suitability of a proposed site for any commercial transaction (Tsoutsos, 2007). Optima location of help from essay writing sites for hydrothermal position has been achieved by using different techniques including the remote sensors (Marilyn et al. 1977, Dudhani et al 2006, Saraf & Kumar 2006). The problem associated with such technique is the inability to provide detailed location analysis that can select between the available environmental alternatives without much rigour (Dudhani et al 2006).
GIS empowers optimal location decisions using varying tools.
Optimal location of a visitor centre is essential to its economic viability. Physical and environmental aesthetics of the location must be examined using thorough location analysis. Such analyses within the environmental consent consider all available options in the environment and then select the best out of them. It is best to consider candidate locations (Saraf & Kumar 2006) and decide on the one that satisfies the physical requirements. The interest here is how we could determine an optimal location for a new visitor centre within the Elkhorn Slough considering the factors like space requirements, accessibility, environmental sensitivity, and the aesthetic integrity of the landscape using Geographic Information System.
The data processing
Following the data processing is the data analysis. It is essential to search and establish the optimal location for the new visitor centre. It involves a careful examination of the available shape files and then interactively determines the criteria suitable for the optimal location of the new visitor center. Multi-criteria analyses were used to achieve this aim. The criteria consider the locations in terms of the constrained factors and the suitable factors for term paper writing help.
Locations within the ES that are characterized by constrained factor were avoided in all ways while those satisfying the suitable criteria were selected for further evaluation. Evaluating the suitable areas involved the weighting of the selected areas in terms of other factors like space availability, environmental sensitivity, and accessibility among others. The suitable locations remain trial locations until it satisfies the required factors that are suitable to optimally determine the best location for the new visitor centre.
Data preparation involved adjusting the spatial compatibility of the spatial for analyses. This was done using the Global Mapper software. The spatial properties of each of these shapefiles were examined to know the coordinate system they are being portrayed. Identified as UTM Zone 10, WGS 84. The newly downloaded files were then reprojected to this coordinate system for spatial compatibility of all the available features. The reprojection was performed by opening the downloaded files within the Global Mapper environment and using the tools menu to configure the files by clicking the projection tab.
The reprojected ASCII files were then exported as elevation raster data into the previous format (ASCII) into Arcview software.
This deals with the adjustment of the available data to obtain a desired result. Reshaping the existing data to obtain desired shape played important role here. Some shapefiles that extend beyond the necessary locations will be trimmed and modified using the editing tool. This is achieved by clicking on start editing on the editing toolbar of the ArcGIS 9.3 and then select the feature to be edited by double clicking with the tool. The feature would be selected and the feature can be modified to the desired shape and size and then stop and save the editing process. It also includes the regrouping of features to achieve desired results.
GIS can be used to determine the optimal location any geographical features using spatial data and available tools. The location of a new visitor centre in this work is possible by applying the multi-criteria analyses. Such analyses consider all the necessary factors that may favour the specification at hand. It is possible to spatially determine the suitability of a location by evaluating the available factors in terms of possibilities and constraints.
Space availability can be quantified in terms of area determination, accessibility by querying or selection of nearby roads and avoidance of any environmentally sensitive zones using ideal feature selection techniques. Selected features were then converted into raster format which exist in the form of Boolean map. The creation of such Boolean maps from features of interest makes the combination of features an easier task using the raster calculation. In this work, it is possible to determine the areas that satisfied the multi criteria proposed to optimally site the new visitor centre using the available datasets.
The elevation data
The elevation data was used to detect the suitable terrain for construction and the areas that may be liable to flooding. Caution must be exercised while generating new Boolean maps because most of these might not exist as permanent files and need to make them one for future reference or usage.
This involves the combination of all relevant features to be used in the analysis into the mapping environment. ArcGIS 9.3 software was used in this work. Each of the shapefiles were added to the view using the add theme button. A clear view of the Elkhorn Slough was made in the process. The integrated data of all the datasets was overlaid and arranged in the order of priority to enable a proper representation of the features at the same time.
Consequently, the new visitor centre must meet the space requirement that would cater for all the specifications above. The proposed centre therefore encompasses features of most popular visitor centres of the world. Because of this, the location suitability factors must be annexed in terms of freedom of access by both public and private transport services, space availability, terrain suitability, environmental sensitivity, and overall aesthetically pleasing physical environment to ensuring the usual preservation of this sensitive ecosystem.
Secondary data containing the shapefiles of features within the ES were provided for the optimal location of a visitor Centre within the Elkhorn watershed.