Proragis: New Features, Expanded System

Article excerpt

In last month's cover story, we sketched the outlines of PRORAGIS, NRPA's new Geographic Information Systems database for park lands, facilities, and programs. The story traced the reasons for the system's creation, as well as its most popular uses for land and facilities inventory, cross-departmental planning, park advocacy, and partnership outreaches. This month, we are highlighting six new and upcoming features developed to enhance the core PRORAGIS platform.

These enhancements add considerable power to the existing functionality of the visually linked database-and, in some cases, allow users to see and manipulate their data in new ways or in conjunction with other critical types of data. Below is a list of the new features coming online this month and in the months ahead.

Spatial Analysis with Jurisdictional Boundaries

Spatial analysis is one of the most valuable functions of PRORAGIS-that is, examining and interpreting the location, concentration, and accessibility of parks on a map. The ability to do spatial analysis while at the same time seeing and manipulating jurisdictional boundaries is invaluable for planning. PRORAGIS will allow agencies to conduct searches within specified jurisdictional boundaries. This feature is useful for inventorying land holdings and facilities according to specific criteria-as well as for visualizing the distribution of parks in a jurisdiction and analyzing their accessibility.

The spatial analysis feature will be available in January 2012.

Measurements

The GIS reports will allow users to draw park or area polygons and then determine what the acreage is for the drawn site. It will also enable users to select end points and points along a line and determine the actual geographical distance between points. These capabilities assist with acquisition, planning, and public communication of alternative areas or sites. The measurements feature can be particularly helpful in cases, for example, where advocates are pushing to add athletic fields to an existing, purportedly crowded park. (Figure 1 depicts the area measurement function, and Figure 2 shows distance measurement.)

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The measurements capability will go live in January 2012.

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Census-Demographic Data Reports Census demographic data describing age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, and other descriptors can greatly increase your ability to:

* Locate facilities.

* Align program offerings for a given facility with the residents living or working near the facility. …