GeoPlanner provides spatial analysis tools on its Explore segment. You can use these tools to answer questions and assess suitability and vulnerability. Spatial analysis tools help you perform the following operations:
- Summarize data—calculate total counts, lengths, areas, and basic descriptive statistics of features and their attributes within areas or near other features.
- Find locations—find features that pass any number of criteria that you specify. They are typically used for site selection, where the objective is to find places that satisfy multiple criteria.
- Data enrichment—explore the character of areas. Detailed demographic data and statistics are returned for your chosen areas. Comparative information can also be reported for expanded areas such as counties and states.
- Analyze patterns—identify, quantify, and visualize spatial patterns in your data by identifying areas of statistically significant clusters.
- Analyze proximity—answer one of the most common questions posed in spatial analysis: What is near what?
Analysis tools create new layers to help you visualize how an area functions. You can use these layers with the Classify tool to create a new layer item that can be used in dashboard charts.
This tool works with a layer of point features and a layer of area features. It first figures out which points fall within each area. After determining this point-in-area spatial relationship, statistics about all points in the area are calculated and assigned to the area. The most basic statistic is the count of the number of points within the area, but you can get other statistics as well.
For example, suppose you have point features of coffee shop locations and area features of counties, and you want to summarize coffee sales by county. Assuming the coffee shops have a TOTAL_SALES attribute, you can get the sum of all TOTAL_SALES within each county, or the minimum or maximum TOTAL_SALES within each county, or the standard deviation of all sales within each county.
The Calculate Density tool creates a density map from point or line features by spreading known quantities of some phenomenon (represented as attributes of the points or lines) across the map. The result is a layer of areas classified from least dense to most dense, for example:
A buffer is an area that covers a given distance from a point, line, or area feature.
Buffers are typically used to create areas that can be further analyzed using a tool such as Overlay Layers. For example, if the question is what buildings are within one mile of the school, the answer can be found by creating a one-mile buffer around the school and overlaying the buffer with the layer containing building footprints. The end result is a layer of those buildings within one mile of the school.
Create Travel-Time Areas
Create Travel-Time Areas creates areas that can be reached within a specified drive, walk, or trucking time or distance. It measures out from one or many points (up to 1,000), along roads, to create a layer that can help you answer questions such as the following:
You may be able to answer your questions solely through visualizing the output areas. Alternatively, you can perform further spatial analysis using the output areas. For instance, running Aggregate Points using drive-time areas with demographic data can help determine which potential store location would likely provide the best customer base for your type of business.
Derive New Locations
This tool derives new features in your study area that meet a series of criteria you specify. These criteria can be based on attribute queries (for example, parcels that are vacant) and spatial queries (for example, parcels that are within flood zones).
Areas that overlap or share a common boundary are merged together to form a single area.
You can control which boundaries are merged by specifying a field. For example, if you have a layer of counties, and each county has a State_Name attribute, you can dissolve boundaries using the State_Name attribute. Adjacent counties will be merged together if they have the same value for State_Name. The end result is a layer of state boundaries.
This tool enriches your point or area data by getting facts about the people, places, and businesses that surround your data locations. Enrich Layer enables you to answer new questions about locations that you cannot answer with maps alone; for example, What kind of people live here? What do people like to do in this area? What are their habits and lifestyles? What kind of businesses are there in this area?
The result will be a new layer containing all demographic and geographic information from given data collections. This new information is added as fields in the table.
Export Spatial Data
With this tool, you can select and download data for a specified area of interest. Layers that you select will be added to a zip file or layer package.
Find Existing Locations
This tool selects existing features in your study area that meet a series of criteria you specify. These criteria can be based on attribute queries (for example, parcels that are vacant) and spatial queries (for example, parcels within one mile of a river).
Find Hot Spots
The Find Hot Spots tool will determine if there is any statistically significant clustering in the spatial pattern of your data.
This tool finds the nearest features and, optionally, reports and ranks the distance to the nearby features. To find what's nearby, the tool can measure either straight-line distance or a selected travel mode. There are options to limit the number of nearest features to find or the search range in which to find them. The results from this tool can help you answer the following kinds of questions:
Find Nearest returns a layer containing the nearest features and, optionally, a line layer that links the start locations to their nearest locations. The optional line layer contains information about the start and nearest locations and the distances between.
Find Similar Locations
Based on criteria you specify, the Find Similar Locations tool measures the similarity of locations in your candidate search layer to one or more reference locations.
The Interpolate Points tool allows you to predict values at new locations based on measurements from a collection of points. The tool takes point data with values at each point and returns areas classified by predicted values, for example:
This tool copies features from two layers into a new layer. The layers to be merged must all contain the same feature types (points, lines, or areas). You can control how the fields from the input layers are joined and copied, for example:
Overlay Layers combines two or more layers into one single layer. You can think of overlay as peering through a stack of maps and creating a single map containing all the information found in the stack. In fact, before the advent of GIS, cartographers would literally copy maps onto clear acetate sheets, overlay these sheets on a light table, and hand draw a new map from the overlaid data. Overlay is much more than a merging of line work; all the attributes of the features taking part in the overlay are carried through to the final product. Overlay is used to answer one of the most basic questions of geography: What is on top of what? For example:
Plan Routes determines how to efficiently divide tasks among a mobile workforce.
You provide the tool with a set of stops and the number of vehicles available to visit the stops. The tool assigns the stops to vehicles and returns routes showing how each vehicle can reach its assigned stops in the least amount of time.
With Plan Routes, mobile workforces reach more job sites in less time, which increases productivity and improves customer service.
The output from Plan Routes includes a layer of stops coded by the routes to which they are assigned, a layer of routes showing the shortest paths to visit assigned stops, and, depending on whether any stops could not be reached, a layer of unassigned stops.
This tool finds features within a specified distance of features in the analysis layer. Distance can be measured as a straight-line distance or a selected travel mode. Statistics are then calculated for the nearby features, for example:
This tool finds features (and portions of features) within the boundaries of areas in the analysis layer, for example:
Execute an analysis tool
You can run any of the analysis tools listed above on a feature layer in your GeoPlanner project. The following steps demonstrate how to run the Create Travel-Time Areas analysis tool to generate walk times from a point feature layer.
- On the application toolbar, click Explore and then click Analysis.
- From the Analysis dropdown menu, click Use Proximity and choose Create Travel-Time Areas.
- Click the dropdown beneath Select Feature Layer and choose a point feature layer.
- In the Measure section, click the dropdown and choose Walking Time.
- In the text box beneath Walking Time, type in 5 10 15 20. This instructs the tool to generate walking times for 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes from each point in the map.
- In the Areas from different points section, click Dissolve.
- Set Result Layer Name to Walk times 5 10 15 20 Minutes.
- Click Run Analysis. If you closed your Contents pane, click Contents on the application tool bar to display it. Notice that a small animation begins at the top of the Contents pane in the Jobs tab. This indicates that a job, or in this case, the Create Walk Times process, is running.
As a spatial analysis tool executes, status of the process is logged to the Jobs tab in the Contents pane. Process status can be Submitted, Running, Processing, Completed, or Failed, and each has an associated icon displayed on the Jobs tab.
If the browser is closed before a job is complete, next time when you open the project, you can use Add Data tool to search and add the result to your project map if the job successfully completed.