Geographic Information Science and Spatial Reasoning
(GEOG 104) (A General Education [GE] Course) Fall 2015
Web-based Exercise #5:
Web GIS Applications.
This Web Exercise will be re-designed for Fall 2013 semester. Please start to work on this exercise on October 29, 2013
Grading: 10 points total
Learning Goal: This module will introduce various GIS applications and illustrate their usefulness in different specialty areas such as Religious groups in San Diego, Older citizen community groups/centers, criminal justice (crime mapping and tracking), business, and marketing (real estate sales and pricing).
Platforms: PC, Mac, or UNIX.
Software Tools Required: Web browser with high-speed Internet access.
1. Religious groups in San Diego
GIS can be used in many useful applications. One of the interesting applications is to understand the distribution of different religious centers and churches in San Diego. SDSU developed a web mapping services, called the Metropolitan Area Pluralism Study (MAPS) locates, charts, and digitally publishes a visual and descriptive guide to the religious diversity that exists in the San Diego-Tijuana region.
To begin, launch your Web Browser (with a live connection to the Internet). Navigate to
Then, on the left side menu, click on the "Buddhism" in California - San Diego County.
Select the #3 Buddhist Temple of San Diego. It will open detail information about this temple in San Diego.
Can you see the location of this template in San Diego in Google Map? Can you find the Temple using the Street View function in Google Map?
Q1 (one point): How many Buddhism temples or centers in the "Buddhism" list? What is their spatial distribution pattern in San Diego? Pick up one template from the list and describe their contents in Quick Facts.
Q2 (one point): Select one church or template in another religion. Describe their spatial distribution patterns and pick up one example to describe the content in details.
Back to the Home Page of MAPS again: http://geoinfo.sdsu.edu/maps/index.htm
Then Click on the "specific geographical area" on the right side window (with the link). Use the spatial query tool to search for religious groups in a specific geographic area. .
Now follow the Step 1, 2, and 3 to select on religion and query for the locations. Once you select the religion and draw the search polygon (see the image below). You may wait for 30 seconds for downloading this spatial search results from the GIS server. The final result will show up inside the selected polygon.
This type of search function is called "spatial query function" by searching churches and temples only within a certain region defined by users.
Q3 (two points): Please write down the detail procedures of your spatial search example. In Step 1, which area did you zoom-in? In Step 2, which religious group did you select? In Step 3, which Polygons did you create? How many results did you get? What's their spatial distribution pattern? Please include all steps and answer these questions in details, and include a screen capture of your polygon in Q3.
2. Criminal Justice - Crime Mapping and Tracking (City of San Diego Crime Map)
Click on the following link to open "Crime Mapping" web services.
Q3 (three points): Please create a case analysis report (in the Word document) by using the following procedure:
1. Select one area or region that you are interested (such as SDSU campus or your home neighborhood or a zipcode region).
2. Select THREE crime types from the web tool.
3. Reset the date to the last 30 days. How many crimes within this period in the map? (include a screen shot)
4. Click on the "Trend Report" button (the pink line icon) to create the report. Explain the trend you see in the report.
5. Click on the "Detailed Report" button (next to the Trend Report) to see the detail report. Take a close look at the Location information and Date/Time. Can you see the "limitation" in the current Location information and Date? Can you explain WHY? If you are a police officer, how will you report the "crime time" for residential burglary or vehicle theft?
Please include the Trend Report and Detailed Report in your Word document or PDF file.
3. Business and Marketing - Real Estate Sales and Pricing (Real Estate Housing Costs with Zillow.com)
This example will introduce GIS applications in private industry, business, and commerce. Many companies have been utilized GIS for promoting their businesses and to increase their profits. They do this by conducting market analysis, and new store and distribution center site-selection studies. GIS can combine information about the cost of land, the cost of local taxes, the local laws and regulations (zoning), the distance to the sales locations (or retail outlets), and the types of customers within the local area (demographic analysis). Using all of this information and more, decision makers can make better business management choices.
The following example introduces a unique GIS application in the Real Estate business specialty area. This application estimates home values based on recent sales in the area of equivalent homes in the area.
To begin, launch your Web Browser (with a live connection to the Internet) and navigate to http://www.zillow.com.
Next, type in the street address of a home. If you donít have the entire street address, it is also okay to just type the street name without the address number. Then, type in the city where that address is located, and either the state abbreviation or zip code.
As an example (given in the figure below), type in 5454 Mary Lane Dr. San Diego in the Find Home text field, , and then click on "Search" icon.
A map should appear showing the area around the address you typed along with residences and home prices. (If you cannot see the home prices, you need to zoom in more). You can navigate around the map once it is displayed. You can zoom in and zoom out the map by the control on the upper-right corner of the map. You can also move the map position by dragging your mouse. Depending on how far you zoom in or out (setting the map scale), you can change the level of details. Try several different addresses. Make sure the estimated home prices are visible. Note that the home prices $400K means $400,000.
Homes around Mary Lane Drive
Please answer the following Q3 questions:
Q4 (one point): Select a home which you are interested in. Then click on the home and check its estimated value. What is the street name of your selected home? What is the estimated value of your selected home? What is the estimated value of the neighboring home in the east (or the north) of your selected home? What is the estimated value of the neighboring home in the west (or the south) of your selected home? What are the differences in the estimated values between the three homes?
Q5 (one point): Click on the first home which you selected in Q4, and look at a pop-up window with more information. In the same way, look at more information of the neighboring homes that you chose in Q4. Why do you think that their estimated values are different notwithstanding that they are contiguous to each other (Hint: Beds, Baths, Sqft, Lot, and Built)?
Q6 (one point): Please discuss which application you liked the best in previous examples and tell us why? Please find another type of Web GIS applications, write a short summary, and list the URL in your answer.