MICHELLE THOMPSON: While we may want to continue to evaluate the statistics separately since the data they come from is from disparate sources, we now have a technology that can take a snapshot of the neighborhood using all of the data. This technology is known as geographic information systems. And GIS is an incredibly powerful tool that is not only used by planners, but it's used by engineers, architects, and many other fields to develop information and analyze it in a way that has never been done before.
Let's take a look at the components of GIS. GIS is made simply of five components. Most people summarize people as the last part, but we're going to start with people as the first. The information, such as the map on neighborhood quality and perception, comes from people. The data is derived from the perception, the summary, and input by people.
The data itself can come from a variety of sources. It can come from the census. It can come from a neighborhood survey. All of that information, however, is now cataloged in an electronic format.
Analysis. Analyzing this data, as we'll see, we can do this in a variety of different ways. And once again, we've been able to do it using different types of formats, but now integrating all of these together is the power which GIS holds.
Hardware. We'll talk a little bit about hardware, but you certainly can go into Google and put in GIS and hardware, and you can look at all different types of formats. But we're going to focus on ESRI products that we use here at Cornell University. And software, we're going to focus on next, giving you an overview of the type of desktop GIS that's available here in [INAUDIBLE] lab.
If we wanted to take a look at GIS for community analysis, the type of planning and the type of policy analysis that we do here at Cornell, I'd like to be able to walk you through this example of how GIS is used and summarized and in such a powerful way. For example, if we wanted to take a look at the neighborhood of Roxbury and do more in-depth analysis on the trends of housing prices from 1970 to 1990 and to 2000, we can gather that information and look at it horizontally, by neighborhood, the pricing of housing.
We also may want to look at the political boundaries and the economic changes. That information, as well, can become a layer. The next are streets. What are the streets that bound a particular neighborhood?
What are the environmental concerns? We looked at some of the toxins, some of the environmental hazards. But also, we want to see that not only on the neighborhood level, but also on the parcel level. And we will be able to look at more information on the parcel level using assessing data. But what we have done already is looked at the block and tract level.
Here in the Cornell City and Regional Planning Department, we use ArcGIS, which is provided by the Environmental Systems Research Institute. The programs that comprise ArcGIS are ArcView, ArcInfo, and ArcEditor. Within ArcView, there are different programs, which are ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcToolbox.
ArcMap is the central program in which you do all of the mapping. Data is brought into ArcMap, and as you can see, we're able to summarize information about the region, and we can also go down to the parcel level.
ArcCatalog is where the data and information is stored. And we're able to bring the data in at different levels, nationally and locally. ArcToolbox is where information can be converted, because while we are able to look at information, they are at different levels of information. And we also have to make sure that they can be displayed. And this is the tool box that allows us to make those types of conversions.
Now, there are different types of maps, and our cartographers would probably not want us to show this map of Redlands, because it provides very little information about the scale, the direction. But this is a typical map that we see day to day. Now the thing that ArcGIS does is allows us to create thematic maps. And we're able to do qualitative and quantitative analysis based upon rates and not necessarily whole numbers.
ArcGIS provides us with a way to summarize information in a variety of different ways by using different legend types. As you can see here, we have graduated symbol, graduated color, multiple attributes, dot density, and charts. If we take a look at graduated symbol, we can take a look the dispersion of earthquakes and the intensity at which the earthquake occurred. And that can be magnified by the size of the particular dot on this map. For graduated color, information about demographics, such as the population distribution across the United States for ages five to 17, can be displayed as well.
Multiple attributes is an innovation that is most recent in these ESRI products. Typically, there's information that, as we could see, dot density and the information about the gradation over time. But now we're able to combine these together so you can have multiple types of analyses on the same map.
In this legend type, we're looking at dot density. This may be a map that you've seen before, and the type of map that provides information on particular incidences over time and throughout space. In this particular map, we are taking a look at each dot representing two crimes, so you're able to look at the amount of crime per area that's been reported on this particular map.
The final legend type in this series are charts. This information provides us with an overview of summary data that you typically would find in Excel. But we can display it virtually and on this map, so maybe during a presentation, you can have a better sense of how the information is displayed. And it would be more for the presentation than you typically would have on a map that you would provide for a report.
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Map making is an event that we perform everyday. Whether we try to figure out the best route to a neighborhood park or travel cross-country, all of us "make maps." The process of creating maps for academic research is very much the same.
Data is gathered about a specific place, verified by theoretical or applied means and analysis is rendered. The ability of applied research to create sophisticated "maps" has been profoundly enhanced by using geographic information systems (GIS).
GIS allows users to create, collect, analyze and visualize data in a integrated database for use in a wide array of disciplines. Community based planners can utilize GIS along with contemporary data and local knowledge for capacity-building and long-term sustainability. The use of parcel information and census data as a 'data package' will be explored in this study room.
This video is part 4 of 8 in the Applied GIS: Turning Data into Information series.