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Table 1 Applications of spatial analysis in humanitarian coordination

From: Evaluation of spatial analysis application for urban emergency management

GIS application Description of application Tools Application examples
Queries and measurements
Queries Does not change the database or produce new data but reveals information Scatter plots, residuals, and structured/standard query language To determine water sources near potential IDP settlements
Measurements Numerical interrogations of GIS, which make an analysis of spatial data Makeup distance, area, length, shape, aspect of spatial data To estimate the total area needed to set up IDP settlements
To determine the length between food distribution points
Transformations Creates new data from existing data Buffer analysis Used to comply with Sphere humanitarian standards. For example, can be used to ensure that toilets are within 50 meters of shelters
Spatial interpolation A transformation analysis method used for intelligently guessing the value of the discreet object Thiessen polygons, inverse-distance weighting, and Kriging To predict infection rates in IDP settlements
To estimate flow rates of well to large aquifer
Point optimization Determines optimal locations amongst nodes of a network Network analysis To select location for critical infrastructure such as food storage areas
Route optimization Determines optimal routes amongst nodes of a network Network analysis To access accessibility of road networks to potential IDP settlements
Path optimization Solves are routing problems by minimizing friction value and does not require a network Network analyst To determine paths for utility infrastructure for IDP settlements
Geostatistical analysis Used to measure geographic distributions, identify pattern and clusters, and analyze geographic relationships Geostatistical analysis To determine historical rainfall averages over a particular area, which could be applied to potential IDP locations
Centroid analysis Used to identify trends over various phenomena in a set period Spatial analyst To determine trends in infectious diseases and household income levels within IDP settlements
Pattern analysis Used to identify distribution points. Can determine whether the point is random, clustered or dispersed Spatial analyst To identify links between water wells and infectious diseases
Relationship analysis Used to determine the relationship between various geographic phenomena ArcGIS 3D analyst, ArcGIS spatial analyst and ArcGIS network analyst To assist in increasing the efficiency of daily operation of IDP settlements
Geovisualization Simple three dimensions (3D) and high-resolution mapping are used globally to access a variety of information Google earth, ESRI’s arcexplorer, and microsoft virtual earth Allows a layperson to understand the unfolding of humanitarian emergency