Geography and Regional Planning students Brandon Andrews, Brooke Rountree, and Jordan Treaster are collaborating with municipal planners from Ligonier Township, Pennsylvania, in the development of a geographic information system that will enable land use and economic development analysis.
Ligonier Township is located approximately 35 miles south of the IUP campus and encompasses 92 square miles of mostly rural land surrounding the boroughs of Ligonier and Laurel Mountain in Westmoreland County.
The student planners are principally interested in understanding what parts of the township are most advantageous for economic development and which areas should be preserved/conserved for environmental and agricultural uses in the future.
The GIS that Andrews, Rountree, and Treaster are building in John Benhart’s Technical Issues in GIS course will include spatial data regarding infrastructure (roads, water, sewer), land use (agricultural, commercial, forest, mixed, residential, urban), and property parcels and land ownership. One of the major products of the project GIS will be a spatial variable-based index model that will indicate the attractiveness of given locations for various types of economic development.