GIS for Transportation: Principles, Data and Applications

Introduction & Learning Outcomes


What will we learn?

By the end of Lesson 7, you should be able to:

  • explain how traffic safety analysis is moving beyond traditional approaches which have focused solely on historic crash data;
  • navigate the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and perform ad-hoc queries of the data it contains;
  • use crash data extracted from FARS or other state crash data systems to visualize and analyze the data in ArcGIS;
  • list some of the uses and benefits spatial technologies offer in the area of highway safety;
  • describe some the goals and objectives of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA);
  • discuss the purpose of the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) and the requirements it imposes on state DOTs;
  • share something you learned about one of your classmates and/or some ideas you discussed with a classmate about the content of this week’s lesson;


Lesson 7 will take 1 week to complete. Please refer to Canvas for specific time frames, submission instructions, and due dates.

To finish this lesson, you must complete the assignments listed below. The details for each assignment is provided in the referenced section and in Canvas.

Lesson 7 Assignments
Assignment No. Assignment Description Section Grade Component / Points
7-1 Read FHWA’s August 2013 publication titled “Assessment of the Geographic Information Systems’ (GIS) Needs and Obstacles in Traffic Safety” and respond to some questions. 7.1 Lesson Topic / 15
7-2 Complete some exercises using both Federal and state crash data. 7.1 Lesson Topic / 20
7-3 Explore the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and address some specific questions. 7.2 Transportation Organizations / 15
7-4 Participate in a One-on-One video conference with a classmate and submit a summary of the conversation. 7.3 Class Participation / 15
7-5 Participate in this week’s webinar and submit a summary of what you learned. 7.4 Guest Webinar / 15
7-6 Review the background material for next week’s webinar and respond to some questions. 7.5 Guest Webinar / 10
7-7 Submit 3 - 5 questions for next week’s speaker. 7.5 Guest Webinar / 5