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Thread: Spatial analysis in planning

  1. #1

    Spatial analysis in planning

    I am looking at an emphasis in spatial analysis in planning for my master's, but I feel like this field is overlooked. I think this field is interesting, especially since I like math.

    Do planners actually use spatial analysis to predict future growth, to create web applications or other use?

    Is there a demand for it, or is it limited to large cities?

    Or maybe because it deals with statistics that people try to avoid using it. Any thoughts, ideas?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jacciz View post
    Do planners actually use spatial analysis to predict future growth, to create web applications or other use?
    A few specialists do, usually for MPOs or some private firms. A long-range planner in, say, a town of 50k? Not so much.

    Quote Originally posted by jacciz View post
    Is there a demand for it, or is it limited to large cities?
    Not much demand, and large cities.
    -------
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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Federal lands such as National Parks, FWS, and BLM all do degrees of spatial planning for many reasons. It is much more a natural resources than physical planning.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    From my experience, spatial analysis is just another tool you can use as part of whatever GIS analysis you are doing for an area. I had honestly never considered it being a specific field since it's uses can be fairly limited in physical planning. A rough model in ArcGIS will normally be sufficient in pointing out some areas that may warrant further review but I personally don't take it much further than that.

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    ...spatial analysis is just another tool you can use....
    I think this pretty much sums it up. It is great to be strong in analytical techniques as long as you have the ability to apply them to a variety of applications.
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    I was wondering the same thing. I am a Geography undergrad right now and am really intrigued by my Spatial Analysis class. I really enjoy the math aspect of it, probably because I switched out of engineering, and I feel like there could be a lot of value in applying spatial analysis to planning. For example: running a spatial autocorrelation analysis on or finding the weighted mean center of business transactions in a neighborhood to determine where to place an ATM. Is this something that is done frequently? Also, if this is the type of stuff I want to get into, what type of job's should I look for?

    (sorry for the thread-jack)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by FullCollapse747 View post
    I was wondering the same thing. I am a Geography undergrad right now and am really intrigued by my Spatial Analysis class. I really enjoy the math aspect of it, probably because I switched out of engineering, and I feel like there could be a lot of value in applying spatial analysis to planning. For example: running a spatial autocorrelation analysis on or finding the weighted mean center of business transactions in a neighborhood to determine where to place an ATM. Is this something that is done frequently? Also, if this is the type of stuff I want to get into, what type of job's should I look for?
    (sorry for the thread-jack)
    You might want to look at what Jianguo (Jingle) Wu, Marina Alberti, some of the Swedes, et al are doing with such enjoyment - more than you can imagine. Look in the journals for the big names (talk to your prof for some as well) and see if the serious work being done is on the ground or in the Unis and go from there. Not many public-private sector applied jobs for this sort of thing, but researchers are doing good stuff - if I had the aptitude for that level of work and was young, I'd pound hard for a Uni, and take the free classes available and, then when I got tired/married I'd look for an applied job.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by FullCollapse747 View post
    I was wondering the same thing. I am a Geography undergrad right now and am really intrigued by my Spatial Analysis class. I really enjoy the math aspect of it, probably because I switched out of engineering, and I feel like there could be a lot of value in applying spatial analysis to planning. For example: running a spatial autocorrelation analysis on or finding the weighted mean center of business transactions in a neighborhood to determine where to place an ATM. Is this something that is done frequently? Also, if this is the type of stuff I want to get into, what type of job's should I look for?

    (sorry for the thread-jack)
    No problem. Thanks for the input. That is something that I find interesting as well and I have similar questions.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Site location is something where that type of analysis would be beneficial. There are a quite a number of firms that do that and some companies even have their own GIS people to help them locate stores. I had a GIS professor in undergrad who used to work for Target and all she did was determine where the best locations for Target to locate were.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Site location is something where that type of analysis would be beneficial. There are a quite a number of firms that do that and some companies even have their own GIS people to help them locate stores. I had a GIS professor in undergrad who used to work for Target and all she did was determine where the best locations for Target to locate were.
    Why am I not surprised? We should be cultivating this market.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I always wondered where in planning can I apply the skills I learned in my one-semester calculus course. I had thought that planners need to compute future population growth models in combination with land use. The replies in this board give me new insight. Now the question is how do new planners like myself and the O.P. market these skills to firms that keep preferring people with an engineering or a hard science background?

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