O'Reilly logo

Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Human Activity, Cost, and Distance

Life forms on our planet may be divided into plants and animals. A major difference between them (although there are exceptions) is that plants do not move (much) and animals do. In fact, for human beings in particular, moving themselves and their artifacts, such as clothing, weapons, and stereo equipment, is a major activity.

Frequently, a major concern about a given human activity is its cost—cost in terms of energy, time, money, fuel, suffering, or other parameters. Moving from one location to another is a frequent human activity and one whose cost we often want to minimize. We usually move because we want to be in a new location or leave an old one for some reason. (There are exceptions to this: a walk in the woods for soul healing, a jog for exercise.) The subject of this discussion is using GIS to

  • Reduce the cost of going from one place to another
  • Lower the cost of transporting artifacts
  • Minimize the cost of building linear structures, such as roads, bridges, and tunnels

The costs of moving from one place to another can be complex to calculate. In cases where the distance is far, the trips are repeated frequently, or the cost is critical (as in the cost in time of getting an ambulance to the scene of an accident), it may well be worth doing the computations. In this discussion, you will learn how to deal quickly and simply with the complexity of performing the “cost of moving” calculation.

What are the factors that determine the cost of ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required