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A web-based GIS system for wildlife species: a case study from Khouzestan Province, Iran

Obeidavi, Zeinab, Rangzan, Kazem, Kabolizade, Mostafa, Mirzaei, Rouhollah
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.16 pp. 16026-16039
Internet, biodiversity, case studies, computer software, conservation areas, data analysis, databases, geographic information systems, models, user interface, wildlife, Iran
Recent efforts to aggregate, process, and use biodiversity information have appended novel opportunities and challenges for the field, and a rapid increase in studies that integrate and analyze data in the biological-ecological realm. We developed a web-based GIS system for the wildlife of Khouzestan Province that provides potential distribution maps and other spatial and nonspatial data on the wildlife of Khouzestan Province and its protected areas. We used MaxEnt and a fuzzy inference system to model distributions of species. Our application was structured using a client/server architecture, and the database design and construction was carried out using PostgreSQL/PostGIS, and GeoServer to serve maps. The mapping interface was developed using OpenLayers; ASP.NET was selected for designing the user interface. We used qualitative-quantitative methods to develop, design, refine, and finalize our system particularly as regards usability. The design approach resulted in a user-friendly interface that allows both specialists and non-specialists to quickly and efficiently run models to estimate potential distributions of species. Our application highlights what can be accomplished with a biodiversity-oriented web application.