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Information identification systems in city planning : an evaluation of existing systems Denike, Kenneth George

Abstract

Systems of identification have long been used in city planning to relate land use information to the physical structure or pattern. The street address is the form of identification that is commonly used in land use surveys; but with the advent of the computer, the systems of identification in use within the city have become outmoded because they cannot be readily mechanized. The military grid was discovered to be highly compatible with the computer and hence it has generally been adopted as the system of identification for use with automated means of locating land use information and retrieving this information for research purposes. A result of this combination is the computer-produced map. And yet, all spatially located activities can be easily referenced by street addresses. Surveys are conducted from the street and the information is identified by the street address. To make use of the military grid it is necessary to convert street addresses to locations on a military grid. In practice a long description of the street must be maintained. Before adopting the military grid and the inherent conversion from the street addresses, it is necessary to determine what purposes are fulfilled by using both street addresses and the military grid. Furthermore, referencing information by street addresses alone may fulfill the information requirements of urban planners. This study deals with the two fundamental systems of information identification: the street address type and the military grid type. Both are evaluated for use in retrieving information for city planning and a framework is structured for this purpose. The relevant criteria are established by reference to the principles upon which information handling is based. The framework and the relevant criteria are tested with existing empirical evidence and it is found that it is feasible and useful for comparing the two identification systems. The two systems of identification are then evaluated and it is found that the street address type should be selected for installation in systems for retrieving information at the interdepartmental level and directly from land use surveys. There are other reasons for developing systems of identification including the analysis of information once it has been collected and communicating the results of the analysis. Therefore, following the general evaluation, further criteria relating to the discrete nature of land use designs are developed and applied to an identification system currently being implemented in the City of Vancouver, B.C. This is a case study of a street address type of information identification system and fulfills the requirements for handling information in urban planning. It is used to assure that the criteria relating to the discrete nature of land use can be recommended for use in future evaluation of identification systems. Based upon the case study a recommendation is made that further research is necessary to explore the implications of using the street address type of information identification system for the collection of information and possibly the military grid type of information identification for printing that information, further research is necessary into the uses, design and evaluation of identification systems in urban planning.

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