• Volume 19, Number 2
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Measuring Distance to Resources

Ron Wilson
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Alexander Din


SpAM (Spatial Analysis and Methods) presents short articles on the use of spatial statistical techniques for housing or urban development research. Through this department of Cityscape, the Office of Policy Development and Research introduces readers to the use of emerging spatial data analysis methods or techniques for measuring geographic relationships in research data. Researchers increasingly use these new techniques to enhance their understanding of urban patterns but often do not have access to short demonstration articles for applied guidance. If you have an idea for an article of no more than 3,000 words presenting an applied spatial data analysis method or technique, please send a one-paragraph abstract to rwilson@umbc.edu for review.

Mapping counts or rates of residents by areal geographies is useful for visualizing distributions across regions. However, this approach limits the understanding of resource proximity to visual approximations. Taking advantage of exact location information in a geographic information system (GIS), direct proximity statistics can be created by geoprocessing residence locations to population centers. In this article, we demonstrate how to geoprocess location information to create a table of the distances between resident locations and the nearest population centers to gain a more precise understanding of how far people live, as groups, from their closest resource centers.

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