Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Barbara Parmenter, Ph.D.

1. Assignment 6 - Basic Queries(10 points)

Introduction to GIS for Urban and Environmental Analysis

Barbara Parmenter, PhD, Tufts University, 2007

Format : Text or PDF document.

The purpose of this assignment is for you to learn and practice some of the basic queries you can perform with GIS.

In this assignment, you need to perform an analysis in which you use all of the following, in any order or in combination:

  • Select by attribute

  • Select by location

  • Statistics for selected features

  • Summarize by an attribute field value

  • Field Calculator or Geometry Calculator

  • Optional : Spatial Join (for aggregating point information by polygons)

Note : you may need to use other functions like buffers or spatial/table joins depending on your analysis, but only the above functions are required.

For example, you could use these tools to analyze parcels in Boston which meet certain conditions for redevelopment based on their attributes and their location relative to other features or demographics, and to prioritize these according to some criteria. Or using MassGIS data you might look for potential land acquisition areas that would serve both environmental ends and provide open space for currently underserved communities. Or you may want to look at what sections of a community may be most vulnerable to a natural or man-made disaster based on census demographics, living/working in hazardous areas, and distance from emergency response facilities and evacuation routes.

It would be ideal to do this assignment as a mini-test of a project idea or at least using data you are likely to use in your project.  If more applicable, use data we have in-house or that you can download online.  If you have trouble thinking of something, talk to the instructor or TA - we are brimming with ideas!

What to turn in:

Turn in a brief report that includes the following:

  • The goal of your analysis

  • The steps you went through (i.e., the queries you performed, in order) - you may use graphics to explain if you like

  • A map or maps that show the results along with summary table(s) you create

  • A note on why the results of your analysis are or might be incorrect (e.g., a caveat to someone reading or wanting to use these results)