GIS Analysis of the Spatial Structure of U.S. Metropolitan Areas: A Case Study of Detroit
Geography & Planning Department
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Social and Behavioral Sciences
The purpose of this research is to explore the extent to which GIS analysis can help us understand the spatial structure of US metropolitan areas. Using Detroit as a case study, the research is conducted in four major steps. First, we identify the major factors that have impacted the urban form and spatial structure of Detroit, including the geographic concentration of US automobile industry, the influx of large numbers of European immigrants and black population, racial segregation, and suburbanization. Second, we construct time series of key variables using US decennial censuses, Economic Census, County Business Patterns, National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) and other databases. Third, we utilize several GIS procedures to analyze 1) how the major factors identified in step 1 affect the geographic expansion and internal structure of Detroit and 2) whether and to what extent these major factors are spatially related. Finally, we present our main findings and discuss the potential and limitations of GIS in urban analysis.
Annual meeting of Association of American Geographers
Sun, Wanxiao and Xu, Gang, "GIS Analysis of the Spatial Structure of U.S. Metropolitan Areas: A Case Study of Detroit" (2014). Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants. 738.