GIS Offers Powerful Insights for Researchers Hoping to Guide Transportation Policy

by Kerri Phillips on May 20, 2016

Several CFIRE projects were used to illustrate unique uses of Geographical Information System (GIS) data for a diverse group of people at the 2016 UW-Madison Geospatial Summit. The annual event brings together people interested in using GIS data in a wide range of fields. Ben Zietlow shared several case studies from a variety of research applications in the transportation industry.

GIS Data for Employment

GIS data helps visualize how each county scored in this study that looked at employment density in the plastics manufacturing industry

The case studies came from CFIRE projects that utilized GIS data in unique ways. In the first case study, GIS data was used to analyze permit data for oversized and overweight freight vehicles in the state of Kansas. Another study looked at Wisconsin shippers’ access to the rail system. Finally, a third project looked at employment concentrations and other factors in areas spanning from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes to identify prime locations for reshoring manufacturing activity.

“The Geospatial summit was really informative,” said Zietlow. “It is an important forum for those of us who use GIS. We can get ideas from how people use it in other fields. For example, there was an interesting project presented where they measured regional access to healthcare.”

The 2016 Geospatial Summit, held on April 19 at UW-Madison, attracted almost 140 registrants from locations around the state. For more information about the summit, read the article on the Geospatial Alliance website here.

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