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Cityscape: Volume 22 Number 2 | Two Essays on Unequal Growth in Housing


Two Essays on Unequal Growth in Housing

Volume 22 Number 2

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Applying Spaghetti and Meatballs to Proximity Analysis

Alexander Din
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development & Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. Government.

The spaghetti and meatballs technique is a geoprocessing method used in a Geographic Information System (GIS) that counts the number of overlapping polygons that are of unequal size and shape. Often, this method is used to calculate densities of coverage areas including, but not limited to, the extent of an oil spill over a period of time or the extent of a burn during a wildfire, or to compare perceptions of a region. In this demonstration, I use the spaghetti and meatballs technique to measure the density of proximity to points of interest, or amenities, in Washington, DC. I calculate summary statistics to describe the densities of amenities by the District’s eight city council wards.

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