Graphical excellence in environmental impact statements: applying data visualisation principles to environmental impact assessments
Graphical Excellence in Environmental Impact Statements applying data visualisation principles to environmental impact assessments Planning and development involves balancing potentially conflicting goals. Development control systems attempt to optimise the trade-offs between ecology, economy and society. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is one o f the tools used to improve the way in which decisions to develop are made. E IA is now well established in national and international legislation and declarations, and in policy and practice. As implemented in Ireland, E IA is carried out by statutory planning and licensing authorities, with the assessment based on the information provided in Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). There is scope for improvement in the effectiveness o f communication o f graphic, text and tabular information, which would benefit the assessment and decision-making process. Data visualisation theory is considered in the context o f the prediction o f environmental impacts, and the following suggestions are made for best-practice in graphical presentation in EISs: Use horizontally-oriented histograms to illustrate impact significance. Compile the predicted impacts in ‘small multiples’ o f histograms. Use sequential colour schemes. Avoid tones that cannot be differentiated by colour blind viewers. Use double-ended colour schemes to encode the adverse-to-beneficial data range. Use techniques such as ‘TableLens’ to aggregate and summarise the data. Illustrate additional characteristics, such as uncertainty, using bullet graphs.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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