COMPLETE: GIS Project and Lessons Learned

I finished a project tonight for my Advanced Geographic Systems class (GEOG 563). This was the final project in what I expect is my final class in the program. Only thing left is a final exam on Monday and I should be finished.

The project was actually interesting, I came up with a problem where an organization needs to organize six groups with dynamic memberships based on geographic location. Using models, VBA and python scripting (programming languages) the process needed to be run at will and output dynamic groups (constantly changing) with relative ease. The output needed to be exported into non-GIS software that the uneducated user could follow a few (less than 3 steps) lines of instructions and see a satellite rendering of the geogrpahic location. This was my creation.

I took a membership roster, calculated very specific geographic locations for each member of the roster, observed trends or natural groupings and output the results to a Google map. Not just a Google map, but a KML file that took each coordinate and plotted it on a satellite view even showing the street level view of each spot.

The really cool outcome is that it is scalable – meaning I now have 200 plots over a small portion of a county. The same process can be done for two thousand, two million or more plots over a county, state, or country. What I did not do is to route the shortest path to each point. This would be helpful if say you were a delivery person who needed to visit each point in the most efficient path possible. Another thing I could do is collect information like age, gender or economic status and organize plans involving these types of targets selecting the necessary from the masses and route plans accordingly.

The application of data collection and the things you could do with these results are limitless. Makes me think of my next post – deliberate information confusion.

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