Where is Houston?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, What’s the Range?, and explore the map.

  • What major city is visible? 

Step 2: Open and read the Map Note.

  • What is the commuter-adjusted population for Houston?

What is a threshold?

Step 3: Threshold is the population needed to support a particular type of service; the range is the distance that people are willing to travel for a specific service.

Step 4: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select, Houston.

Next, we will explore the locations of four major stores, and will vote on which type of store each layer represents based on its spatial pattern. The four choices are: major coffee shop, major fast food restaurant, major home improvement store, and luxury department store chain.

Can you predict the service industry in Houston?

Step 5: If you see a link to Modify map (upper right), click on it.

Step 6: With the Details button underlined, Click the button Show Contents of Map (Content).

Step 7: Turn on the layer, Store 1.

Step 8: Rename Store 1 to Coffee Shop. Click the Content button, then the icon for More Options, and then click Rename. Type the new name, and click OK.

Step 9: Turn on the layer, Store 2.

Step 10: Rename Store 2 to Fast Food Restaurant.

Step 11: Turn on the layer, Store 3.

Step 12: Rename Store 3 to Home Improvement Store.

Step 13: Rename Store 4 to Luxury Department Store.

How does the range for a home improvement store compare to a coffee shop?

Step 14: Measure the distances between a few coffee shops. Click on the Measure tool. Select Distance, and then choose the unit of measurement. Click once to start measuring, click again to change direction, and double-click to stop measuring.

Notice how the range for coffee shops varies because of a variety of different land use and natural space within the CBD.

Step 15: Use the Measure tool to measure the distances between a few home improvement centers.

  • What is the range for a home improvement center?
  • There is a difference between the range for coffee shops and the range for home improvement centers. This is because coffee shops are not specialized, and people travel shorter distances for coffee; home improvement centers are more likely to be specialized, and people travel farther for things to fix their homes.

Why are there areas in Houston without any of these major stores?

 Step 16: Turn on the Census Tracts layer?

Step 17: If necessary, zoom to Houston.

  • What are the possible reasons why some areas of Houston do not have these services?


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Human Geography Lab Manual Copyright © by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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