Global region builder geo-codes prototype.aag.rsa.rsai

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Regional analysis in the United States is limited by the alphabetic FIPS codes which were assigned in the 1960’s. The base codes assigned alphabetically for states, then alphabetically for counties and comparable geographies within states, made it simple to lookup individual state or county data in a list. Some regional aggregation was done in the establishment of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), which were separately coded. Many of these regions matched the geography of early Metropolitan Councils of Government. The relationship definitions which defined such MSAs by workforce commuting, led to their widening over time to more jurisdictions, as well as necessitating combinations of MSAs for market analysis. Since the geographic base changed over time, there was little opportunity for long term analysis of change on standard geography. Totals used obscured differences within the underlying territory. There was no comparable national system to aggregate non-metropolitan counties into standard regions, although most states established some form of multi-county regional councils. Some, like Virginia, used sub-state districts for data aggregation and use by other State agencies, allowing the region number to act like a FIPS code.

In the 1990’s, commerce, industry and even workforce commuting expanded along Interstate and Primary routes, showing connections between MSAs and a broad range of non-metropolitan counties, often in adjoining states. To understand these relationships, there was clear need for multi-regional analysis, but no data sets supported this. The author began work in 1998 to promote the development of such a system, submitting a comment to the U.S. Census Bureau February 12, 1999 relative to: Alternative Approaches to Defining Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas.

Continued work on the issue and a review of other national and international systems led to the conclusion that a global geo-code system was needed, since existing formats had tended to be based on an alphabetic approach. Given the multiplicity of regional alignments, multi-national, multi-state, a global geo-code system appeared appropriate. The purpose of this paper is to present the prototype design for the purpose of further consideration by the user communities.

The system is based on a geocode scheme set up for earth that focuses on established political boundaries as a basis for regional grouping of nations, states and localities. It is decimal system based to take advantage of the sort criteria for numbers in computers. It utilized the Sector Group and Region codes of the United Nations and ISO.

The basic geocodes are:

0000 Earth
0900 Arctic Ocean
1000 Europe
2000 Africa
3000 Atlantic Ocean
4000 Antarctica
5000 Americas
6000 Pacific Ocean
7000 Oceana
8000 Asia
9000 Indian Ocean

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Global region builder geo-codes prototype.aag.rsa.rsai

  1. 1. Global Region-builder Geo-Code Prototype © by Thomas J. Christoffel, AICP, MeRSA For RSA Conference May 25, 2010 - Pécs, Hungary RSAI/NARSC Conference November 13, 2010 – Denver, Colorado AAG Conference April 14, 2011 - Seattle, WashingtonRegional analysis in the United States is limited by the alphabetic FIPS codes which wereassigned in the 1960’s. The base codes assigned alphabetically for states, then alphabetically forcounties and comparable geographies within states, made it simple to lookup individual state orcounty data in a list. Some regional aggregation was done in the establishment of MetropolitanStatistical Areas (MSA), which were separately coded. Many of these regions matched thegeography of early Metropolitan Councils of Government. The relationship definitions whichdefined such MSAs by workforce commuting, led to their widening over time to morejurisdictions, as well as necessitating combinations of MSAs for market analysis. Since thegeographic base changed over time, there was little opportunity for long term analysis of changeon standard geography. Totals used obscured differences within the underlying territory. Therewas no comparable national system to aggregate non-metropolitan counties into standardregions, although most states established some form of multi-county regional councils. Some,like Virginia, used sub-state districts for data aggregation and use by other State agencies,allowing the region number to act like a FIPS code.In the 1990’s, commerce, industry and even workforce commuting expanded along Interstate andPrimary routes, showing connections between MSAs and a broad range of non-metropolitancounties, often in adjoining states. To understand these relationships, there was clear need formulti-regional analysis, but no data sets supported this. The author began work in 1998 topromote the development of such a system, submitting a comment to the U.S. Census BureauFebruary 12, 1999 relative to: Alternative Approaches to Defining Metropolitan andNonmetropolitan Areas.Continued work on the issue and a review of other national and international systems led to theconclusion that a global geo-code system was needed, since existing formats had tended to bebased on an alphabetic approach. Given the multiplicity of regional alignments, multi-national,multi-state, a global geo-code system appeared appropriate. The purpose of this paper is topresent the prototype design for the purpose of further consideration by the user communities.The system is based on a geocode scheme set up for earth that focuses on established politicalboundaries as a basis for regional grouping of nations, states and localities. It is decimal systembased to take advantage of the sort criteria for numbers in computers. It utilized the Sector Groupand Region codes of the United Nations and ISO.© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 1
  2. 2. The basic geocodes are: 0000 Earth 0900 Arctic Ocean 1000 Europe 2000 Africa 3000 Atlantic Ocean 4000 Antarctica 5000 Americas 6000 Pacific Ocean 7000 Oceana 8000 Asia 9000 Indian OceanMap source: http://www.clker.com/clipart-13513.htmlThe codes were assigned beginning at the north pole as the zero point. The directional path usedto circumnavigate the world and assign geocode numbers in the order that continents and oceanswere encountered was to move North to South, then East to West (NSEW). To encompass theearth in ten sections, the most inclusive geographic features were used.Beginning at the Arctic Ocean, the number 0000 was first assigned. Moving south along theprime meridian, Europe is encountered first and assigned 1000. Next, moving south is Africa,assigned 2000. Moving west, the north to south feature is the Atlantic Ocean, assigned 3000 withAntarctica and the southern pole 4000. Returning to the north pole and moving west, theAmericas run north to south and were assigned 5000. Next west is the Pacific Ocean, assigned6000, with the term Oceana used for the area inclusive of Australia – New Guinea and relatedislands. Again returning north, Asia is the next continent and assigned 8000. Moving south, theIndian Ocean is assigned 9000 to complete the system.© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 2
  3. 3. There are different systems of accounting for continents. These can be reviewed athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continents The purpose of this system is to cover all geographicterritory of our local planet within a ten base system. From this framework, sub-coding can go toas fine a level as necessary. The intent of the geocodes is to group political entities based onrelative proximity, not the alphabetical relationship which is the basis of Federal InformationProcessing Codes (FIPS).The gross code system assigns large block of potential codes to oceans which have few politicaljurisdictions for which to manage information. When first put to use, this became clear for theArctic Ocean. Almost immediately there became a need for an Earth Code, since there were somany organizations with a global approach. Therefore 0000 was assigned to Earth, with 0900utilized for the Artic Ocean.Using the Sector and Region names utilized by the United Nations,http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm, a global geocode system can bedeveloped. Country names and relationships were matched to those on the Statoids websitemaintained by Gwilliam Law http://www.statoids.com/wab.htmlThe United States is in the Northern Grouping for the Americas, which contains five countrygeographies. Two digit numbers were assigned using the NSEW method as follows: 1 northern grouping 5 1 10 Greenland 1 northern grouping 5 1 20 Canada 1 northern grouping 5 1 30 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 1 northern grouping 5 1 40 United States of America 1 northern grouping 5 1 50 Bermuda 1 northern grouping 5 1 60 United States Minor Outlying IslandsIn the case of the U.S.A., the country has a region code of 5140 assigned as follows, Americas –5; northern grouping – 1; NSEW country code – 40. A two digit country code is provided forbecause some areas will have more than ten countries within a grouping.The complete code prototype can be seen in Appendix A - Global Region-builder Geo-CodePrototype - Elements of 4-digit Geo-code. A look-up table for codes is in Appendix B -Alphabetic Listing of Geographies, Relationships, Abbreviation and Numerical Code Systems Sub-Nation Geo-codesOnce a country code is established, the next task is to develop geo-codes based on the sub-national political geography. In the U.S. that began with the States. The alphabetic FIPS code donot enable geographic grouping. The U.S. Census Bureau has defined regions and divisions andthis framework was used to develop NSEW geo-codes. The goal is to use as much of existingsystems as possible.© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 3
  4. 4. Beginning in the Northeast Region with the New England Division, a NSEW path was taken toassign State code numbers, seeking to maximize the analytical benefit of having relativegeographic relationships be visible in data tables, as well as be available for geographicrelationships. The first document was produced November 28, 2002. States and County datasetshave adequate geographic information system geocoding so that that would analyticalrelationships can be mapped. The ultimate goal was to establish state and substate regional datasets that can be compiled for analysis in a similar way. North-South Division 07/04/07 Region/State Abr. State FIPS Northeast 1. New England Division Region 1 Maine ME 23 New 2 Hampshire NH 33 3 Vermont VT 50 4 Massachusetts MA 25 5 Rhode Island RI 44 6 Connecticut CT 9© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 4
  5. 5. Northeast 2. Middle Atlantic Division Region 7 New York NY 36 8 New Jersey NJ 34 9 Pennsylvania PA 42 3. South Atlantic Division South Region 10 Delaware DE 10 11 Maryland MD 24 District of 12 Columbia DC 11 13 Virginia VA 51 14 West Virginia WV 54 15 North Carolina NC 37 16 South Carolina SC 45 17 Georgia GA 13 18 Florida FL 12 4. East South Central Division South Region 19 Kentucky KY 21 20 Tennessee TN 47 21 Alabama AL 1 22 Mississippi MS 28 5. West South Central Division South Region 23 Louisiana LA 22 24 Arkansas AR 5 25 Oklahoma OK 40 26 Texas TX 48 6. East North Central Midwest Division Region 27 Michigan MI 26 28 Ohio OH 39 29 Indiana IN 18 30 Illinois IL 17 31 Wisconsin WI 55 7. West North Central Midwest Division Region 32 Minnesota MN 27 33 North Dakota ND 38 34 South Dakota SD 46 35 Iowa IA 19 36 Nebraska NE 31 37 Missouri MO 29 38 Kansas KS 20 8. Mountain Division West Region 39 Montana MT 30 40 Wyoming WY 56 41 Idaho ID 16 42 Nevada NV 32© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 5
  6. 6. 43 Utah UT 49 44 Colorado CO 8 45 New Mexico NM 35 46 Arizona AZ 4 9. Pacific Division West Region 47 Alaska AK 2 48 Washington WA 53 49 Oregon OR 41 50 California CA 6 51 Hawaii HI 15Numbering codes have been developed in prototype for sub-state regions and combinations inmulti-state regions and multi-national regions, as well as multi-state and multinational regionswhich have related governance regions. Formats and classification rules for coding regions foraggregation are in development. Working classifications with regional topic tags can be seen athttp://delicious.com/I.see.regions.workComplete four-digit codes were developed for all oceans, continents, countries and relatedislands are shown in Appendix A. Sub-nation codes can be developed for sub-national politicalgeographies as appropriate to the political geography of the nation as has been done for theUnited States.How do geo-codes enable region-building for analysis? Examples follow for the Mid-AtlanticRegion where Regional Council geography is the Unit of Analysis.State Codes are: 5140-08 New Jersey, 5140-09 Pennsylvania, 5140-10 Delaware, 5140-11Maryland, 5140-12 District of Columbia, 5140-13 Virginia and 5140-14 West Virginia. Countiesand, in the case of Virginia, Cities were geo-coded to existing regional council regions. Where amulti-jurisdictional region did not exist, a Data Region was created.© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 6
  7. 7. The alignment of data from alphabetic FIPS to aggregation by regions follows for Charles CityCounty located near Richmond, Virginia. The table below shows the County in its alphabeticposition.Here the County appears in relationship to the other localities of the Richmond RegionalPlanning District Commission sorted using its region number 15.This enabled creation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Areas map which was used for theMid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtables which were first organized in 2005 and are nowmaintained by the Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division of the American PlanningAssociation. The complete table of sub-nation codes, state and counties aggregated to regions isset out in Appendix C.© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 7
  8. 8. Mid-Atlantic population growth for the period 2000-2005 is shown by region in the maps belowfor Net Population Change and Percent Population Change. Boundaries are shown for the Multi-State combinations of Sub-State regions in the Mid-Atlantic.The perspective given by the regions, which, for the most part have regional planning anddevelopment organizations, is one that could not be seen via County or MSA geography.Compared to the MSA geography, the regional council geography is a basis for local governmentcoordination of land use planning and regional services.© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 8
  9. 9. This land use analysis compares Dwelling Unit densities by region. Loss of countryside – viewshed? Region land area less Federal and State Lands – including Urban Areas Overall density in 2005 drops when Urban areas pulled out – with time series one could see better the sprawls as build out occurs.The purpose of this paper is to: (1) present this effort to researchers and practitioners and (2) tofind people who may be interested in this project for analysis of other multi-jurisdictionalregions.The geo-codes can be used for compilation of topics using tags for geography and subject asshown at http://delicious.com/I.see.regions.work and Regional Community Development Newshttp://regional-communities.blogspot.com/© Small World Geocode April 4, 2003 9

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