UTD To Develop Geographic Base Map For Addison
Findings Will Aid Town Planners In Future Development
Students in the geographic information sciences program at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) are working with the Town of Addison and the North Central Texas Council of Governments this summer to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) base map that will be used by the town for planning and economic development.
The project, which is being operated through UTD’s Bruton Center, involves verifying existing roads and land use, as well as the locations of utility lines – including water pipes and storm sewers – and digitally inputting those findings.
GIS mapping involves using a combination of software and hardware with capabilities for storing, manipulating, analyzing and displaying spatial information – that is, information that is related by its location on the earth’s surface. A GIS base map can reveal relationships not apparent with traditional maps and databases.
The Addison project is being managed by Dr. Ronald Briggs, director of UTD’s Geographic Information Sciences Program, associate director of the Bruton Center and professor of geography and political economy in the School of Social Sciences. Briggs said the project would be beneficial for both Addison and UTD.
“This project is part of the North Texas Council of Governments’ effort to assist smaller cities in developing base maps, but at the same time it will provide excellent training experience for UTD’s GIS students,” Briggs said. “It is my hope the training eventually will increase the number of trained GIS professionals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and around the country.”
UTD is scheduled to complete the $20,000 project by Aug. 1.
UTD has more than a decade of research and teaching experience in GIS and was the first university in the Metroplex to offer a certificate in GIS and the first to offer a master’s degree in geographic information science. The UTD program also was the first in Texas to be admitted to the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science.
About the Bruton Center
The Bruton Center, which is part of UTD’s School of Social Sciences, conducts basic and applied research about the trends and public policies related to urban and regional development. Studies are carried out in such areas as concentration of poverty, land use patterns, neighborhood quality, racial segregation and spatial aspects of environmental and health issues. The center is known as a leader in utilizing Geographic Information Systems, a technology that provides information about the Earth’s surface via digital maps and performs grant and contract research with local, national and international organizations. Its past accomplishments include founding the North Texas GIS Consortium, now part of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, an association of local public agencies committed to sharing spatial-based data for Dallas/Fort Worth.