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For example, you could use these tools to analyze parcels in Boston Somerville which meet certain conditions for redevelopment based on their attributes and their location relative to other features or demographics, and to prioritize these according to some criteria. Or using MassGIS data you might look for potential land acquisition areas that would serve both environmental ends and provide open space for currently underserved communitiesbased on criteria you define. Or you may want to look at what sections of a community may be most vulnerable to a natural or man-made disaster based on census demographics, living/working in hazardous areas, and distance from emergency response facilities and evacuation routes.


  • The goal of your analysis
  • The steps you went through (i.e., the queries you performed, in order) - you may use graphics to show your steps in place of, or in addition to, text
  • A map or maps that show the results along with summary table(s) you create. The maps do not have to be formal finished maps as in earlier assignments. You can use Snag-it for both the maps and the summary table if you like and simply paste them into your document.
  • A note on why the results of your analysis are or might be incorrect (e.g., a caveat to someone reading or wanting to use these results) - you will definitely see problems as you do the analysis, many of which you can't correct because they are inherent to the data sources, so just say what you think is wrong.


The biggest problem students have with this assignment is using the Summarize function. You can only use the Summarize function on a category value, e.g., type of land use, openspace owner type, openspace public access (yes, no, etc.).  You will then summarize numeric information by this type (e.g., acres of open space that are publicly accessible, or acres of open space by owner type). Do NOT summarize on a numeric field!

The second biggest problem students have is making this assignment too complicated. Keep it simple - it's simply a way for you to get familiar with these basic tools.

E-mail the instructor and TA if you have problems!