GIS mapping services

Role of GIS in Risk Mapping and Analysis

Geographic information system helps to process spatial data and supports the risk analysis requirements. Read on to understand more about the practical applications of GIS in risk analysis.

GIS mapping services

Spatial information has a big role in influencing the decisions we take every day by giving a clear picture of the space around us. It allows us to identify the relationships and trends that were not apparent otherwise. Geographic Information System technology helps to take reliable decisions based on spatial insights.

GIS is finding increasing use in risk analysis due to its capabilities in linking location with the associated information. It helps to efficiently capture, manipulate, store, and analyze information about geographic locations. One of the basic principles of risk assessment is that risks that happen due to natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and flood are dependent on the location and can be assessed if reliable location intelligence is available. Considering this aspect, many institutions use GIS to assess the risk of life and property due to natural hazards.

Let’s explore more about the role of GIS in risk analysis

How GIS helps in risk analysis?

GIS risk solutions help to collect, manipulate, analyze and present the risk data associated with hazards. This supports in determining spatial interrelationships and deploying it in risk assessment models.

GIS has many tools for entering geographic information such as geological features, boundaries of different countries, and building information. GIS risk information tool also includes a database management system. The tools are deployed to create digital maps for analysing and querying information. Most GIS software presents information through an easy-to-use interface.

The tools help to synthesize the spatial data and map the relationships between various natural hazards such as earthquake, cyclone, and landslide and the risk elements such as buildings, people, and infrastructure. The relationships involved in risk analysis are largely spatial in nature and require extensive use of GIS.

Risk analysis of natural hazards has two important components mainly, vulnerability and hazard. Vulnerability measures the damage a hazard can cause to buildings and infrastructure while hazard measures the physical intensity of the natural peril at a location and its possible intensity. Hazard varies according to the location. For example, dusting a hurricane a location near a cost has higher risk than an inland location.

GIS can be combined with photogrammetry and remote sensing to identify hazards. It helps to analyze aerial photos and satellite images and detect the flood-prone areas. After identifying the hazards, the representation is stored in the GIS database. GIS also helps to generate new hazard layers.

Hazard maps can be created to show landslide, earthquake, flood, or fire hazard possibilities. These maps help to show the hazard zones and can be created for cities, small districts, or even countries.

Another application of GIS in risk analysis is by creating threat maps. Such maps are usually used by meteorological departments for creating better weather forecasts. It helps communicate rapidly to the people who are likely to be affected by an imminent cyclone.


Authorities can store inventory data in the GIS database. Data on utilities, building stock, liveliness etc are aggregated easily into manageable regions such as pin codes, census wards, or larger regions like villages, taluks, or districts. When required the database can be queried for creating risk assessment models.

GIS technology also helps to display output and allows users to see how the impact of peril is geographically distributed. This allows the users to conduct a graphical sensitivity analysis of all factors that affect the risk possibility. GIS helps authorities to integrate the location information and create an ideal and reliable framework for risk analysis.

Conclusion
The above discussion shows that GIS is an important tool in risk analysis. The spatial intelligence provided by GIS technology helps authorities to analyze and understand the geographical risk from various hazards and take appropriate preventive measures. SBL has a proven track record of helping many prestigious institutions leverage the power of GIS technology in their risk analysis and decision-making process. Get in touch with our GIS division for accurate and reliable spatial data services.

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