The MIT City Form Research Group recently released a new open-source plugin for ArcGIS 10 to perform advanced spatial analyses on network data such as urban street networks. The tool can give researchers a better understanding of how the spatial layout of cities and their social, economic, and environmental processes affect the way people live in it.
The tool measures reach, gravity, betweenness, closeness, and straightness on spatial networks. This means you can assess the number of services or resources within a certain walking distance and can analyze the volume of traffic along sidewalks and streets. Like other network analysis tools, the tool evaluates network element geometry and distance and distinguishes between shorter and longer links. What is unique about this tool is that it not only operates with node and edge elements like other network analysis tools, but it can also incorporate additional network elements such as buildings. Individual buildings or objects can be characterized within spatial networks and can be weighted to give more or less influence. For example, more populated buildings can be set to have a greater impact on results. The tool can also be used to assess urban growth and change.
Click here for the press release.