Designing and Implementing Models of Accessibility Potential in a GIS Environment

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



The application of GIS in transport planning is growth rapidly in recent years. However, most of these applications tend to confine to simple street mapping, shortest path analysis, and vehicle routing studies. For transport planning and policy evaluation, planners require process information which is beyond the functionality of current off-the-shelf GIS. For example, the contemporary generation of GIS provides several ways to deal with absolute or relative distance, such as buffer commands and shortest-route algorithms. Neither of these can provide a general overview of accessibility in a given area, however. Since the early 1990s, there is a general consensus within the GIS community that the future success of GIS will dependent to a large extent on incorporating more powerful analytical and modeling functions (Goodchild et al. 1992), and several current research initiatives in North America and Europe focus on the improvement of spatial analytical and modeling capabilities of GIS technology. The integration of GIS with urban modeling was part of these broad research efforts to link spatial analysis and modeling with GIS (Sui, D. Z., 1998). The objective of this paper is threefold: (1) to develop the distance (travel time) algorithm, which attempts to overcome the limitations in the existing measurements of the current generation of GIS; (2) to design and develop modified potential model within the ArcView GIS environment by making use of Avenue Scripts in full integration way; (3) to evaluate the applicability of the GIS module using LRT system of Singapore. Some of the previous work on accessibility and potential models are briefly reviewed in the next section. We conclude that there is a lack of full integration of potential models within GIS environment although the potential models have been extensively used by accessibility-based measures. So the general idea of this paper is to design and develop the potential model whole within ArcView GIS environment (which named ACCESS Extension) using Avenue Program. The fundamental design decisions and methods underlying the ACCESS Extension are described then. In a case study, the ACCESS Extension is tested. Some conclusions are offered in the end.


Databases and Information Systems | Geographic Information Sciences | Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing

Research Areas

Data Management and Analytics


2000 ESRI International User Conference: Proceedings: San Diego, June 26-30, 2000





City or Country

Redlands, CA

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