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Project Dates
06/01/2001 - 09/01/2001
Principal Investigators
Project Status
Project Objective

This project will provide an opportunity to document the process of applying GIS technologies at the local level in a small city, Troy, New York, and to publish an article in a refereed journal, such as tile Journal of Urban Technology, on data gathering and GIS analysis for such cities. The current urban GIS literature: focuses overwhelmingly on much larger cities with more abundant data resources and analytical capacities.

Project Abstract

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping technologies allow researchers and planners to gather, store, and process information in many new ways. GIS is especially useful for analyzing and evaluating community-level and use and transportation elements. Over the next two years, the City of Troy intends to develop a comprehensive information management system that will incorporate GIS. As an older industrial city, Troy faces a number of planning challenges including urban revitalization, population retention, and historic preservation. At the same time, the City's unique urban form (linear with many small activity areas and easily identified . activity patterns) makes it ideal for academic research. This project is an opportunity to apply the University's technical capacity in support of the City 's initiative and to develop the GIS resources necessary for research on the City. It will document the process of applying GIS technologies at the local level and lead to refereed publications on data gathering and GIS analysis. The completion of the GIS will support additional research using archived Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) transit data to analyze the activity patterns of I the transit routes in Troy. It will also support a grant proposal being prepared by Dr. Ray Bromley on neighborhood revitalization.

Task Descriptions

Regional GIS mapping initiatives have demonstrated their usefulness. For example, METRO, the regional government in the Portland, Oregon area, has developed a comprehensive GIS database. TRANSIMS, the new transportation simulation software, uses the METRO GIS data for transportation analysis. URBANSIM, a GIS model of Eugene, Oregon, uses GIS data in a land use modeling process. The capacity to develop and use GIS at the local level is compelling for academic research. Unfortunately, there are few economies of scale available when local projects are considered, as the amount of information is generally small, relative to regional projects. However, many planning issues require local level data analysis. Kent and Klosterman (JAP A 2000) point out the need for appropriate teaching tools using GIS, as planning projects can impact the lives and properties of community members.

The City of Troy will provide UAlbany with official zoning base maps, tax parcel information, selected fire, police, and building inspection data. Historical building records will be obtained from the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Additional maps, including topographic, street system, waterways, etc. will be obtained from the state GIS clearinghouse and Rensselaer County.

The Geography and Planning Department has state-of-the-art equipment and software to digitize and produce the layers of maps and attribute tables. The GIS lab resources include: Calcomp Digitizing Tables; HP 350C DesignJet Plotter; Textronix Phaser 560 Postscript Color Printer; Dell NT Work Station; NT Work Group; and software packages, including ArcGIS, Arclnfo 8.1, Maplnfo, Bentley MicroStation .I; and a number of graphics and photo simulation packages.

Student Involvement

One Graduate Research Assistant will work 37.5 hours per week for 5 weeks, for a total of 187.5 hours.

Relationship with Other Research Activities


Technology Transfer Activities

See Benefits below.

Benefits of the Project

Using the comprehensive local GIS coverage developed in this project, Professor Lawson will apply for funding from the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) to conduct comparative transit and land use analyses. She has worked previously with archived Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) transit data in Portland, Oregon (Lawson 2001). The Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA) recently installed ITS equipment on the buses that travel through the City of Troy. The archived ITS transit data contains information "harvested" from real-time data flows at the bus stop level including: the number of passengers getting on and off the bus; the number of riders; the time of day of the stop; the speed of the bus; etc. The transit data will be linked to the City of Troy's GIS layers, making it possible to conduct transit and use activity analysis for a small city and to publish an article in the Journal of American Planning Association on transportation and land use relationships in small cities.