ESRI Canada has published a case study about the use of ArcGIS.com by Canadian students to learn about their environment. By learning spatial skills, the students were able to study and map out a local environmental issue, the erosion of the Scarborough Bluffs.
Recently, the school leveraged the geographic information system (GIS) solution to look more closely at the impact of increasing soil erosion of the Scarborough Bluffs, a 14-kilometre coastline east of Toronto. The area has rapidly eroded since the 1940s, causing a risk to residents and a decline in property values.
Using ESRI’s ArcGIS technology hosted on the Amazon Cloud, students were able to map and intersect various data including settlement in the area, access to the escarpment, property values and environmental data. They plotted data on free Canadian basemaps available in ArcGIS Online, which are contributed by authoritative sources through the ESRI Canada Community Maps Program. As a result, students were able to predict the potential impact of erosion on the value of properties in the area. They also assessed whether the City’s erosion-control programs were effective in mitigating this environmental threat.
Case study (PDF file): Students Develop Environmental Research Skills through ArcGIS.com