Varying the Variable: Presenting Different Cases for Visualizing the Relative Attractiveness of Retail Business Centers in New Britain, Connecticut

International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research, Vol. 1, Issue 4, 2010

Zachary Klaas

“It is common practice in business geography to use gravity models such as the Reilly’s Retail Law of Gravitation model to gauge the extent of presumed trade areas for retail sites based on a variable that models the general demographic attractiveness of the site in question. In the Huff retail model, an exponent represents additional attractiveness factors that differentially affect certain sites; however, it is less common practice to vary the attractiveness of one site alone and to visually inspect in a series of maps the differences in other trade areas given the variation of assumptions about the attractiveness of that site. The idea behind this form of analysis is that business managers benefit from being able to visualize a range of possible contingencies to which they may have to respond. The city of New Britain, Connecticut, is used as a demonstration model in this article to provide these kinds of visualization maps.”

Assessing the Proximity of Healthy Food Options and Food Deserts in a Rural Area in Maine

Applied Geography, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 22 October 2010

Teresa A. Hubley

“The purpose of the project described in this paper was to assess and describe the food environment facing public assistance clients in a rural county in Maine. Using the concept of a “food desert” and an objective tool for rating participating food outlets, the research team developed a spatial model of client access to healthy foods. The final map shows that most rural residents are within acceptable distances of well-rated stores, though these may not be supermarkets.

“Research Highlights

  • “Food Deserts” are defined by distance to supermarkets as sources of healthy food.
  • Stores of all types can be objectively rated for fresh, reasonably priced healthy food.
  • Food deserts re-assessed through ratings may not be true deserts.
  • Information campaigns based on ratings can identify local places and foods to meet consumer needs”

More information

The Spatial Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets: Commuting Flow Analysis of North West England

Urban Studies, March 2010; vol. 47, 3: pp. 620-649., first published on December 7, 2009

Stephen Hincks and Cecilia Wong

“The consideration of housing and labour market interaction is a relatively recent development in an academic and policy debate which has traditionally considered home and work in isolation. This paper aims to examine empirically the spatial process of housing and labour market interaction in the form of commuting at the sub-regional level via a case study of North West England. A statistical analysis and visual GIS mapping of commuting flows are adopted to explore the relationship between the two functional areas. In light of the inadequacies of traditional modelling approaches at capturing the complex nature of housing and labour market interaction, this approach is intended to generate more relevant intelligence to inform policy development. Based on the analysis of housing and labour market interaction, some pointers for future research and policy implications are drawn out.”

Accessibility and Cognition: The Effect of Transport Mode on Spatial Knowledge

Urban Studies, April 2010; vol. 47, 4: pp. 845-866., first published on December 7, 2009

Andrew Mondschein, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Brian Taylor

“Spatial behaviour and decision-making require knowledge of the urban environment, including opportunities available and the means to reach them. Thus, variations in spatial knowledge can result in radically different levels of effective accessibility, despite similar locations, demographics and other factors commonly thought to influence travel behaviour. Cognitive maps, which develop primarily through wayfinding and travel experience, are individuals’ repositories of spatial knowledge. This paper examines whether differences in cognitive maps can be explained, in part, by variations in travel mode. Adults were surveyed in two Los Angeles neighbourhoods with relatively low auto use and high transit use. The data show that spatial knowledge does indeed vary with previous experience with travel modes.”

Lessons in Collaborative GIS: Geospatial and Temporal Analysis of Truck Traffic from Marcellus Shale Drilling Activity across Pennsylvania

2010 NW PA GIS Conference, October 14th, 2010

M. Damon Weiss and Tracey Olexa

“Over the past several years, the idea of large-scale drilling of the Marcellus Shale gas fields across Pennsylvania has met with both support from those who believe that it will be a long-term boom to the state and local economy and skepticism by those who recall the devastating effects of coal mining on the environment, during the last energy rush in this state. While this debate plays out on news media and the gas drillers work things out with the Department of Environmental Protection, a less publicized but equally important negotiation is also being played out between the gas drillers and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The main issue is how to keep track of and fairly share the financial burden from gas drilling companies who could potentially cause widespread damage to Pennsylvania state roads, during the well development process. After all, the traffic volumes of heavy vehicles from these well sites is excessive and many competing oil companies use the same roads as they travel to and from shared quarries, concrete and asphalt plants, water sources, and waste disposal / treatment sites. Keeping track of such a massive amount of data, across multiple organizations, is a challenge indeed. Presenting this data so that accurate and sound decisions can be made is even more difficult.

“In order to address this issue, Pennoni Associates has been working with about a dozen Marcellus Shale gas drillers, several road construction contractors and five PennDOT District offices to collect mountains of data about anticipated drilling schedules, truck volumes and highway routing, for the purpose of generating temporal / geospatial analyses of cumulative truck traffic on state bonded roads. While we are still refining the data collection and analysis processes, we have been largely successful so far in creating a very flexible and collaborative GIS framework, which emphasizes cooperation across organizations and the idea of sharing resources to meet common goals. Although the project was orchestrated on a state-wide level, the concepts are equally applicable to local communities and there are a number of lessons that can be taken from our experiences. This presentation offers both insight about these lessons learned and an overview of the methodology and results of the ongoing project.”

Logistics Software is Free for Single-Vehicle Use

Anyone in the United States who needs to schedule and route multiple stops throughout the day for a single vehicle can now use ArcLogistics free of charge. ArcLogistics is cloud-based vehicle routing and scheduling software that creates optimum routes and schedules based on specific business operations including vehicle capacities, driver specialties, street network restrictions, and customer time windows.

The free single-vehicle subscription is ideal for sales professionals, lawn and pool services, or anyone who needs to find the best routes for a single vehicle. The solution helps organizations deliver services and move goods to the right place at the right time for minimum cost. Customers who use ArcLogistics to plan their routes typically save up to 30 percent on vehicle-related costs.

The latest version of ArcLogistics includes the following key enhancements:

  • Setup wizard—A wizard sets up the basic attributes of the fleet, reducing the time it takes to import vehicles, drivers, and orders.
  • Improved address management—If an address is manually edited or moved, ArcLogistics will remember the edit and place it in the desired location next time it is imported or entered.
  • Secure services—Esri-hosted mapping, routing, and geocoding services use secure HTTPS protocol.

To start a free single-vehicle subscription, visit and sign up for a 30-day trial. The 30-day free trial allows the routing and scheduling of up to 50 vehicles. When the trial expires, it automatically converts to a free one-vehicle subscription.

[Source: Esri press release]

If You’re a Turkey in the U.S., Where’s the Best Place to Hide over Thanksgiving?

“Americans love turkeys, domestic and wild. We buy them, and hunt them. While the fate of most turkeys is certain, this maps shows where a turkey might find some safety.

View the map: PDF [5.35 MB], GIF [370 KB]

“For this map, we combined data for consumption of turkey, gravy and stuffing, with data on where people hunt with shotguns. Locations with low consumption or low hunting provide a margin of safety. People in cities and suburbs tend to eat more domestic turkeys, while people in rural areas hunt more.

“Data sources: Esri Updated Demographics (2010), GfK MRI.”

Spatial Analysis of Property Crimes on Foreclosure and Other Socio-Economic Variables: An Examination of Garfield Heights

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA. 2010-11-15

Harry Wilson and Kevin Cieplowski

“Spatial and temporal changes in crime have important consequences affecting the criminal justice system and other critical policy sectors. After declining through the 1990s and remaining stable for over a decade, violent crime rates climbed in many cities. Very little is known about the factors driving crime trends, and recent studies on this topic tend to be limited to descriptive and explanatory approaches. Spatial-oriented analyses are rarely used to scrutinize the relationship between recent crime trends and socio-economic factors, including foreclosure. The current research focuses on spatial analysis of property crimes in Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, 2004-2009”