March 22, 2023


Everything You Value

Analysis of Geographic Information System methods in San Francisco, California

Fatima Eltohami Ahmed Eltohami, a current IHS student of the Urban Housing, Equity and Social Justice Master Track, shares her experiences of the GIS (Geographic Information System) Methods for Urban Research course and her research on open spaces and parks in San Francisco, California.

As a part of the methodology courses at IHS, the students had a GIS Methods for Urban Research Course. They learned how the geographic information system could be an effective tool in the urban context by creating geospatial databases, analyzing spatial data using geoprocessing tools, and interpreting the results and how they can be relevant to social sciences research. Also, learning how to present these data by creating scientifically correct spatial visualizations, called thematic maps.

“It was challenging for me because it was the first time to use GIS, but it was a joyful and smooth learning experience”

As a final assignment, the students were asked to conduct a sustainability report for a city of their choice. Therefore, Fatima chose to study the sustainability theme of spatial availability and accessibility of urban open spaces and parks in San Francisco and its performance with the Urban Sustainability Indicators (Social, Environmental and Economic). In this learning experience, she recognized the significance of data in effective policymaking and planning to achieve urban sustainability in cities and the enormous potential of GIS for future professionals planners.

“I enjoyed each part of the experience and I am looking forward to extending my knowledge of GIS in the future. I hope all my fellow classmates did as well”