Friday, December 11, 2015

Brevard County Food Desert - Palm Bay & West Melbourne

This has been a crazy-fun experience. My last project for GIS 4930, Special Topics in Geographic Information Systems is to create a webmap using Open Source GIS tools. The subject of this last project continues to be Food Deserts. For my project, I selected two cities in Brevard County: Palm Bay and West Melbourne.I used QGIS (Quantum GIS) as a FREE and Open Source, ArcMap -substitute to conduct most of my analysis. I had to use ESRI's ArcMap for the Near tool to compute where the Food Desert and Food Oasis existed relative to my cities above. After running the tool in ArcMap, the QGIS table looked like the below:

I used the 2010 US Census data. The first red circle represents the Census Tract information; the second circle is POP2010. I used the tract information to compute the centroids of the population so that I could measure a Euclidian distance of one mile from the grocery store layer. The last column is the Near_Dist data derived from ArcMap – Like I said, I could not use QGIS to do everything I wanted – This Near column is the result of executing the Near Tool with a one mile search. Any item that returned a -1 is farther than one mile from the grocery store and hence in a Food Desert by my definition.


I used Google Earth to collect the Grocery Store information and the US Census data to compute population centroids. I used a number of FREE Open Source GIS tools, such as QGIS, Mapbox, and Leaflet, and I gained valuable experience doing so. Below is my QGIS and Mapbox maps.

My Mapbox Link: Mapbox Brevard Food Desert

The data I created is very good and highly useful for the purpose of determining Food Deserts. I believe that my data fairly represents the Food Desert situation in my study area.

Here is my final presentation for GIS 4930:

It has been a pleasure conducting this brief study and I look forward to many more years of using free and open source tools for GIS analysis.

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