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Assignment 1


Prepared By Sabin Bajracharya 013-1226

Center for Postgraduate Studies Nepal Engineering College Balkhu, Kathmandu Nepal

31st August, 2013

The journal titled "GIS Software for Measuring Space-Time Accessibility in Transportation Planning and Analysis" was proposed by Harvey J. Miller and Yi-Hwa Wu from Department of Geography, University of Utah and assisted by Ming-chi Hung. This research focuses on the GIS software that implements SpaceTime Accessibility Measures (STAMs). STAM is related to accessibility including locations and travel velocity of transportation system and also the individuals' daily activity schedules. It is directly linked with the benefits for individuals from the transportation systems. GIS is used for calculation of STAM. This system has a user-friendly graphical user interface and project management tools that provide decision support for their application in transportation analysis and planning. As mentioned in the journal, accessibility is a powerful concept for measuring transportation system performance and guiding transportation and land-use planning. It can be difficult to manage and apply these measures for urban-scale transportation analysis. So availability and usability of software is often more important than theoretical correctness when applying analytical tools to real word problems. GIS is the software that provides spatial database management and cartographic visualization capabilities at the front end and back ends while external computational toolkits perform the accessibility calculations. The three major theoretical approaches to measure accessibility as provided by Miller in his article "Measuring space-time accessibility benefits with transportation networks: Basic theory and computational procedures" published in 1999 are discussed in this journal. The first is ConstraintsBased Approach, best implemented through Hagerstrands space-time prism. Space time prism delimits all locations in space time that can be reached by an individual based on the locations and durations of mandatory activities and the travel velocities available by the transportation system. The second approach is attraction - accessibility measures. These are spatial interaction based and weight the attractiveness of opportunities against the travel cost required. The third approach directly dictates that accessibility should be a measure of the benefits to an individual from a choice situation. The article also discuss about the benefits of Space-time accessibility measurement. With the help of the three approaches various measures are designed. The major measures are Space time Utility Function and Space time accessibility measures. Equations for these two measures are provided in this journal.

Using GIS software for improvement in space time accessibility measures for transportation analysis and planning. In addition to the computational tools required for calculation the STAMs, the system also provides data management and project management tools with user friendly interfaces.

The measurement of STAM is done through GIS-STAM software system. The implementation involves three interfaced components i) ArcInfo GIS ii) computational module developed in C++ , and iii) graphical user interface written in ArcInfo macro language. The system runs on Windows NT or Sun Solaris UNIX platforms. ArcInfo serves as a spatial database management system that maintains all the spatial data and model parameter information. The spatial data includes line coverages representing the transportation networks and point coverages representing the transportation networks and point coverages representing the line locations. The user can interactively place the mandatory activities using ArcInfo's interactive editing functionality. The kernel of the software system is the computational model. This consists of two sub-modules, namely, a network transformation module and an AM toolkit. The network transformation module converts a street coverage into network within an accessibility space. The AM toolkit uses the new network topology and travel times stored at the nodes to calculate accessibility benefits at any location within the network. The Graphical user interface consists of modules for managing the data and modeling for STAM as well as functionality for converting data among different software components of the system. Various figures are provided in the journal to elaborate the models.

The space-time accessibility measures (STAMs) and computational algorithms discussed in this paper are rigorous (predictable), reliable and tractable. They are rigorous in the sense that they compute benefits accruing to individuals within a travel environment rather than some abstract and difficult to interpret measure. STAMs are realistic as they capture the interactions between transportation system performance, the locations of mandatory and discretionary activities and the individual's activity schedule. STAMs are also tractable with respect to storage space and time requirements. Using GIS based system approach provides the easier and faster way of predicting and evaluating the solutions of accessibility measures.