Analyzing Supermarket Access with ArcGIS Online

I recently created a set of activities based on using web-based GIS tools to teach spatial thinking using drive-time buffers, a set of activities that use viewsheds as a teaching tool, another on the use of zonal statistics, another on analyzing the best route to a facility, and another on routing around barriers.  They are all free, easy to use, powerful, based on Esri technology, and they foster spatial thinking.

Analyzing supermarket access in ArcGIS Online

Analyzing supermarket access in ArcGIS Online.

Now let’s open this map that incorporates point, line, and polygon data and some of the spatial analysis techniques that you have been exploring using the above blog lessons and web maps.  This map shows access to supermarkets.  The supermarkets have been buffered for walking (1 mile) and driving (10 minutes).  People in poverty with low access and farmers markets are also shown.  Notice how the symbology changes as you zoom out of Detroit to the county level.  Find, zoom to, and study your own community and compare it to Detroit.  What is the purpose of this map that you have been examining?  Why is access to supermarkets a concern to society?  What are the patterns of access in your own community, or the neighborhoods across town?

Turn on the map layer indicating food expenditures at home versus away from home. Examine the details for this map layer so you will understand what it means.

How have the spatial analysis techniques you have been exploring using the maps above been used to create this map?  What about the map’s symbology do you find interesting, useful, or even confusing?  Why?  How could you use this map as a teaching and learning tool?

About Joseph Kerski

A geographer by training, Joseph Kerski serves on the Esri Education Team, focusing on fostering and promoting GIS, spatial analysis, and spatial thinking throughout education.
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