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Thread: Why do you use GIS as a planner?

  1. #1
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    Why do you use GIS as a planner?

    Hi all,

    I would like to get an overview of why you as a planner typically use ArcGIS or other GIS software.
    What are the common tasks you use GIS for weekly? Are any of the tasks repetitive?

    How does it help you get your job done as a planner?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by urbanchic; 28 Mar 2014 at 12:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I use it to make pretty maps.

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by urbanchic View post
    Hi all,

    I would like to get an overview of why you as a planner typically use ArcGIS or other GIS software.
    What are the common tasks you use GIS for weekly? Are any of the tasks repetitive?

    How does it help you get your job done as a planner?

    Thanks!
    You should take the course, it is a powerful analytical tool if you learn how to use it, plus you can make maps. Buck up and get though the course.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Its a marketable hard-skill that can help you get your foot in the door when you're starting out and all your other course learning has been theory based.

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    I use it to make pretty maps.
    Quote Originally posted by Vancity View post
    Its a marketable hard-skill that can help you get your foot in the door when you're starting out and all your other course learning has been theory based.
    I think that about covers it. You are expected to know something of GIS at least to the point you can manipulate layers and make pretty maps. I'd expect you should know how to create a layer even if it's not geo referenced. I'd also expect some knowledge of analytic skills like buffering (I do that all the time).
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    I'm the only one in my office that knows GIS and I get asked to pull something up almost every day. It's a great tool.

    Now if I can just get the rest of my staff trained...
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I view GIS as a tool on par in importance to using a word processor for new planners. At a minimum, you'll use it weekly for creating reference maps for cases, notification boundaries, etc. I use it a lot simply because it is a database organized spatially--I can find critical information by location much faster. It is also a tremendous analytical tool that is capable of doing some wicked-cool stuff.

    I always recommend planners take GIS at a community college/tech school if possible--the classes are a lot more practical & applied than what I've seen at universities. University GIS courses will expose you to some of the deeper analytical abilities of the software though, plus you might get to learn custom programming (a very lucrative business for GIS) if the GIS program at the university is closely tied to Computer Science.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Oh yeah.....

    I'm using it several times a week to show the spatial relationship between poverty and level of service (Food and produce access, Food Bank access, WIC, Head Start, Banking, Predatory Lenders, after school services, family poverty by block group, household poverty by block group, individual poverty by block group, child care providers.....and many more)

    In my opinion, planners aren't using it enough for the right things.....and sure as hell aren't using it to push fairness in government infrastructure expenditures or to make annexation policy fair and inclusive.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    I'm using it several times a week to show the spatial relationship between poverty and level of service (Food and produce access, Food Bank access, WIC, Head Start, Banking, Predatory Lenders, after school services, family poverty by block group, household poverty by block group, individual poverty by block group, child care providers.....and many more)

    In my opinion, planners aren't using it enough for the right things.....and sure as hell aren't using it to push fairness in government infrastructure expenditures or to make annexation policy fair and inclusive.
    You mean I could use GIS to determine that county money is being spent to improve gravel roads to asphalt where the wealthy people live and not where the highest traffic is at. Or that I spend way to much time chasing some neighbor's problem in a couple areas than chasing after real code violations that all seem to occur just outside the city limits.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    You mean I can use GIS for social & environmental justice, equal treatment & fair housing analysis/compliance?!?

    much wisdom you have in applied GIS

    Seriously, there is so much GIS can be used for to communicate major social concepts like this.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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