Analyzing Data

Analyzing Data

Following public engagement and community workshops, the gathered data is analyzed and prepared for use in developing alternate scenarios. Analyzing data includes compiling survey and poll results, digitizing workshop maps, examining the placement and prevalence of chips and other materials used to identify preferences in the workshop mapping exercises, and preparing maps for theme identification. Compiling results from surveys and keypad polls helps shape the development of potential guiding principles, gives a sense of residents' values towards the issues being explored, and helps identify what the scenarios should measure.

Conducting mapping activities during public workshops may result in dozens of maps representing hundreds of voices.

tech2Digitizing maps is the process of taking workshop maps from a paper state into a digital state, so mapped data can be analyzed in Geographic Information System (GIS). Having the workshop maps in digital form allows for quick analysis of trends, helps to identify where growth is placed and what form it takes, and enables the scenarios to develop in a transparent fashion, demonstrating how public preferences are incorporated into scenario concepts.

A polygon grid and an Excel spreadsheet is a low tech way to organize data and transfer it to digital form. The grid used for coding has a corresponding grid with numbers in GIS so the coders can cross reference. A polygon grid, or fishnet, is created with a unique ID field. The grid is then overlaid on the workshop map with a transparent sheet. Working in pairs to digitize the data, one person can identify where there are chips placed on the workshop map, the type of chips (mixed use, single family, open land, etc.) and the cell number that coincides with the chip, while the other person enters the data into an Excel Spreadsheet. This process results in an excel spreadsheet that can plug into GIS giving a record of all of the data across the maps. This data can be used to develop composites that reflect trends across all mapped information. 

tech3Counting map chips helps provide statistical data and allows for identification of the distinct alternate approaches workshop participants took to accommodate the goals they addressed during the mapping exercise. Examples of things to look for are the number and types of chips placed on each map, as well as which chips were used most. 

Click HERE for detailed instructions that outline an alternative approach for digitizing maps using ET+ software from Fregonese & Associates. 

More in this category: Developing Scenarios »