Analyzing Hurricanes Using Web and Desktop GIS

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Hurricane Alberto at the end of the 2000 hurricane season

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  • Classroom Activities


Esri, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)


Hurricanes are among the most common and most destructive types of natural hazards on Earth. Because they occur across space and time, hurricanes can be better understood using maps, particularly digital maps within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) environment. GIS allows you to use maps as analytical tools—not maps that someone else has made—but using your own maps to make decisions. Students use GIS mapping to create maps. When looking at hurricane patterns, the students can discuss why hurricanes move in certain directions, and which don't fit that profile. Using the GIS maps, students can also measure hurricane wind speeds, direction of movement, and rate of movement.

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