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Using GIS to Improve Transportation Accessibility

Using GIS to Improve Transportation Accessibility

GIS technology is helping many cities adapt to transportation changes!

using gisWalkability has been on the decline for the past thirty (30) years now. This has affected peoples’ work commutes and our children’s ability to walk to school. The convenience of walking to wherever you need to go doesn’t always work since the accessibility is not there. “Transportation researchers generally refer to accessibility as a measurement of the spatial distribution of activities about a point, adjusted for the ability and the desire of people or firms to overcome this spatial separation or ‘the potential of opportunities of interaction.” (Van Eggermond and Erath 2016).

The term walkability has been around for some time now. The first people who started calculating walkability were healthcare researchers. The healthcare researchers were interested in how easy it was to walk in different places. After databases were built in cities, the researchers determined one of the key factors was physical activity. Once the researchers have the data, they can share the necessary information with cities and neighborhoods to improve the efficiency of walking.

Many cities are impacted by the accessibility of walking. Cities are now trying to lure young professionals by making the walkability much more convenient than in the past. One way cities are doing this is by investing in GIS technology. “The basic approach of this tool is it looks at street networks as graphs of links and nodes, where distance based on walking can be calculated based on accessibility of different nodes via street links.” One might not think this is a big deal but many young professionals care to have easy access to shops, restaurants and other services they seek. GeoTel has the necessary services that can help benefit cities that are looking to implement GIS technology.

Valerie Stephen