Term Project

Predicting Population Growth for

 Palm Beach County, Florida

Background

In the past decade, Palm Beach County (PBC) Florida has been one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.
Now, the county commissioners want to somehow control growth. In order to control growth,  growth must be predicted. The following excerpts are taken from a newspaper article written by Joel Englehardt on July 14, 2003. Mr. Englehardt is a staff writer for the Palm Beach Post. The article outlines the efforts to predict growth, and the controversies surrounding the process.

"Developers and growth opponents, whose strident debates shaped Palm Beach County more than a decade ago, are at it again — this time to decide how many people should be crammed into Palm Beach County. At issue: Is raging growth inevitable or should the county plan to slow the pace? At risk, both sides say, is the county’s very future. County officials are challenging growth projections produced by the University of Florida. Such disputes aren’t unusual, but governments usually complain that the projections are too low. Palm Beach County is arguing the projections are too high.......By the late 1980s, developers and growth opponents clashed over rules that would link development to services: No roads meant no development. Developers have learned to live with the arrangement, which has been criticized for paving the way to suburbia through an aggressive road-building program. Now, many of the huge farms of the past have been replaced by huge subdivisions and county rules limit development on the few remaining tracts - such as three citrus groves west of Royal Palm Beach — big enough to capture the attention of assembly-line home builders.......Thinking 30 years out, the county focused on land supply. It plugged in data from all 37 municipalities, added some of the same trends UF predicted, and produced a model that can be updated every year — as the county and cities approve more development. It assumes, however, that thousands of newcomers don’t double up with families already here. And that builders don’t convert large numbers of shopping centers or golf courses into crowded apartment complexes."

Download the article in it's entirety.

Problem Definition

You have been hired by the county commissioners of Palm Beach County, Florida, to predict the increase in county population in the next ten years, as governed by the following criteria set by the County:

  • Consider Agriculture, Citrus Groves of greater than 200 acres.
  • The Citrus Groves have to be within five miles of the three designated major roads: Southern Boulevard, Interstate 95, and Florida's Turnpike.
  • Assume that the conversion of selected citrus groves to housing will be 0.5.
  • Predict the population increase if these acres are converted to housing by using the conversion factor of 4.44 people per acre.

Solution Procedure:

1) Data required. For Palm Beach County, you will need:

  • A land use map.
  • A map of major roads.

2) Data Acquisition.  Download the PBC County Land Use and PBC Major Roads files, and the associated htm metadata files from the "Download Data" link below.  

3) Data Preparation:

Land Use

  • Open ArcMap
  • Resize ArcMap to about one half the screen size.
  • Open the folder you placed the Land Use files in, and resize it to about one half of the screen size.
  • Click on the sflu9550.shp file from your folder and drag and drop it onto the Table of Contents of ArcMap. (the left frame)
  • An alternate procedure would be to click on the "Add Data" icon and maneuver until you reach your Land Use folder, then open sflu9550.shp.
  • The legend will show a single color for the entire map. We will correct this now.
  • Right click on the sflu9550 layer
  • Click "Properties" then "Symbololgy"
  • Click "Categories" – “Unique Values”
    • After selecting "LANDUSE", select "Add Values" – Keep the default “Color Scheme” at this time.
    • From the drop down list, select the following "LANDUSE" categories (make sure to click “Complete List”):
      • Water
      • Agriculture, citrus groves
      • Recreational golf Courses
      • Agriculture, field crops
      • high density residential, fixed single family units
      • high density residential, multiple dwelling units low rise
      • vegetated non forested wetland
      • wetland forested mixed

§         Click "OK" 

  • Customize the colors of the Legend:

Click on each of the color boxes in the Table of Contents for each Legend category and change the colors as follows (you may also want to shorten the “Description” at this time):

    • Check <all other values> Box and set its color to Sahara Sand
    • water = Ultra Blue
    • agriculture, citrus groves = Electron Gold
    • recreational golf courses = Mars Red
    • Agriculture, field crops = Light Apple
    • high density residential, fixed single family units = Black
    • high density residential, multiple dwelling units low rise = Black
    • vegetated non forested wetland = Melachite Green
    • wetland forested mixed= Olivenite Green

        Click on the  sflu9550 layer and change its name to something appropriate. Right click on the layer and choose "save as a layer file" - then save your work as an *.mxd file.

Major Roads

  • Resize ArcMap to about one half the screen size.
  • Open the folder you place the Land Use files in, and resize it to about one half of the screen size.
  • Click on the majrds50.shp file from your folder and drag and drop it onto the Table of Contents of ArcMap. (the left frame)
  • An alternate procedure would be to click on the "Add Data" icon and and maneuver until you reach your Land Use folder, then open majrds50.shp.
  • All Roads will show as a single color. We will correct that now.
  • Right click on the  majrds50 layer
  • Click "Properties" then "Symbololgy"
  • Click "Categories"
    • From "Values" select "STROUTE"
    • Click  "Add Values"
      • CR 880 (Southern Boulevard)
      • SR 91 (Florida's Turnpike) 
      • SR 9 (Interstate 95, I 95)       
    • You can change the colors of the legend here in the Layers Properties Box
      • CR 880 (Southern Boulevard) = Mars Red, Line Weight = 4.0
      • SR 91 (Florida's Turnpike) = Black, Line Weight = 4.0
      • SR 9 (Interstate 95, I 95) = Cretean Blue,  Line Weight = 4.0                                     
    • Click "Apply"

        Click on the majrds50 layer and change its name to something appropriate. Right click on the layer and choose "save as a layer file" - then save your work as your *.mxd file.

 

  • The Metadata will contain all the information on the layer files you downloaded - such as the coordinate system, units, etc.
  • Pay particular attention to units. You may have to recalculate an attribute by adding a column to the attribute table and recomputing a value to get it in the correct units. The following conversion factors may be useful:

                         1 mile = 1609.3 meters                1 meter = 0.0006213 miles

                             1 meter2 = 0.000247 Acres          1 Acre = 4048.6 meters2

After you download and prepare the data, and before you begin any analysis, prepare a Cartographic Model that will outline the steps in your analysis. The Cartographic Model will be a required part of your report. In order to include it in your report, the Cartographic Model should be drawn using AutoCAD or the drawing menu in WORD.

Problem Redefinition

The State of Florida has learned of your study and has asked you to consider new criteria in your population prediction, and compare the results from the initial study:

  • Consider Agriculture, Citrus Groves and Recreational Golf Courses of greater than 200 acres.
  • Be within five miles of the three designated major roads: Southern Boulevard, Interstate 95, and Florida's Turnpike.
  • Predict the population increase if these acres are converted to housing using the conversion factor of 4.44 people per acre.
  • Assume that the conversion of citrus groves to housing will be 0.5, and golf courses will be 0.2.

Final Report

Produce a "professional" report using MSWORD (Cover sheet, table of contents, numbered pages, etc ).

  • Front matter: cover/title page, table of contents, list of figures and tables
  • Executive summary: (Not required for GIS Term Project) an overview of the total report. It contains the main ideas but minimal details, and no figures or tables. The executive summary should be able to stand on its own—the reader should get the key points without having to read the rest of the report.
  • Introduction or background: a brief orientation to the report and the project. The introduction
    generally states the purpose or problem, and briefly overviews the contents of the report.
  • Methodology: a detailed description of how the project was set up, how an analysis was performed, or any assumptions the reader needs to know
  • Results: a detailed description and/or analysis of the project’s outcomes. This section often contains graphs, tables, and other features to help present data. All figures and tables need to be labeled and a reference included in the text (for example: See Figure 1.1). Large amounts of raw data should be placed in an appendix (see below). If the results section is lengthy, try using headings and subheadings to break up the text and make the report easier to read.
  • Conclusion: a wrap-up of the report, which can include final analysis of the outcomes, summary of the project goals and results, or recommendations for further action.
  • Back matter: appendixes include raw data, tables, computer program code, and drawings or figures that don’t fit in the text. The appendix should contain information that readers may need to consult but that would overload the report text. Label each item in the Appendix: Appendix A (A-1, A-2, A-3), B (B-1, B-2, B-3) and so forth.
  • Include Cartographic Model. (Place in Figures)
  • Minimum maps - Land Use, Roads, and selected land parcel maps. for the original problem and the problem redefinition (Place in Figures). You may want to include a few more maps as you see fit - but remember that the more maps, the larger the WORD file you will have to transmit.

Download a WORD document of the report format as outlined above.

Please note: You can include the necessary maps in your report by producing a Layout of the particular map, then from the EDIT menu in the Layout mode, select "Copy to Clipboard". The map can then be pasted into a WORD document. All maps should contain a Title, North Arrow, Scale Bar, Legend, and any notes you may deem appropriate.

Send your completed report to gatemail@hartford.edu

Report is due by December 17th. 

Do not e-mail your report to the instructor's e-mail!