Thursday, March 16, 2006

Be the 100th Person to Hang Out - GIS Style!!

Want to know where you should hang out this Friday night?? Hmm??
Site works best with IE
Site will find the best location in Tarrant County, TX

Well, 99 people have turned to GIS to try to figure this out since GIS Day last November. And hey...why not give it a shot and be number 100. The last person to find out where in Tarrant County, TX, they should hang out this Friday Night was on March 10. I honestly had no idea that this web application was still being used.

I initially developed this project for GIS Day last year, as a way to showcase to our students the power of GIS. (See previous posts: 11/9/06 | 11/12/06.)

Here is how it works:
This site was developed by the UTA Libraries: GIS Program to demonstrate the capabilities of geographic information systems, the Google Maps API, and the power of combining the two.

After filling out this short online form, a geoprocessor (.NET application accessing ESRI geoprocessing objects) is launched which computes a simple suitability analysis to derive the best location that is most suitable based on the user selections. All user results are stored in the database, so the number of locations and the number of people hanging out at these locations will continue to increase. Expand the All the UTA Party People menu (below) to see a list of the people who are currently hanging out.

So, just sit and think for a moment. How can a suitability analysis such as this be used in your studies? Your work? Your life? The UTA Libraries: GIS Program is available to help all UTA students, faculty, and staff to perform spatial analysis, locate spatial datasets, automate spatial tasks, and general GIS assistance. We can even assist with the creation and maintenance of online mapping services, such as the Google Maps API.
The ArcGIS geoprocessing code, written in VB.NET, performs a very simple suitability analysis using user supplied weights and values. The values have already been reclassified between 0.0 to 1.0, so the geoprocessing code locates the best position in the county that meets your selections. Then the distances between that position and every establishment type (that the user selected) are calculated. The establishment type with the smallest distance is where you should be hanging out. It's a lot of fun, and who knows...maybe being number 100 is the most fun of all. ;)

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