About the research
This project builds upon the previously Midwest Transportation Center (MTC) sponsored project, High Speed Computing to Facilitate Real Time Analysis of Transportation Planning Alternatives Through GIS. The Transportation Planning Geographic Information System (TPGIS) procedures developed here are converted into a “user guide” format suitable for most planning agencies. The planning tools developed in the TPGIS project are designed to be interactive tools which utilize GIS and graphic user interfaces to change planning model inputs as well as display results of model runs and alternatives analyses. This type of system provides an environment for transportation modeling which is superior to older, non-graphic methods which are primarily driven by batch files created in a batch mode. Planners and engineers can more easily visualize data inputs (e.g., socioeconomic variables) using the GIS color graphic displays. Collections of data used to support a particular model scenario can also be more efficiently stored in a GIS than in a tabular environment. In addition, the interactive nature of TPGIS permits an analyst to perform what-if scenarios in response to requests by decision makers while they wait.