Geographical Information System originated in the 1960s. During the early daysof the technology the use was limited to a small group of practicioners. It is ainformation technology which analizes, stores, and displays both spatial andnon-spatial data.

It is used in many different specializations. It is also veryuseful for engineers, which will be shown in this presentation. In environmentalengineering, GIS can be used for estimation of flooding risk and determiningwater quality, among others. The ability to calculate flood risk is a veryimportant feature of GIS, largely responsible for the increase of its use. The1990s have been affected by flooding around the world, especially in the UnitedStates.

The Mississippi river floods were a great disaster, and some of thelosses may have bee prevented had the areas at high risk not been urbanized.Milwaukee was also hit by flooding a few years ago, causing much property lossand distress. After these, and other unfortunate instances, GIS was essentiallyrediscovered as a useful tool for the calculating flood risk. The ability tocalculate flood risk will help save future construction from destruction, andwill steer urbanization and development to areas where it will be safe.