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PeopleArea
A custom unit of geography for mission planning
What are PeopleAreas?
PeopleAreas are relatively uniform circular geographic areas optimized to encompass the largest number of people in the fewest number of areas.
PeopleAreas are primarily intended to provide an analysis framework for translating and simplifying large and often unwieldy amounts of available data into a useable planning resource. This basic PeopleArea principle insures that analysis revolves around population centers. More traditional geographic units are not able to accomplish this. AREA
Every geographic unit is designed to meet a particular need. This need is translated into a design model that determines how a geography will be formed. Typically, the design model will hold constant one of two variables: population or uniform geography. In other words, either a population threshold will be constant and the size of geography varies or the size of geography is constant and the population within it varies.
Population Units
Population based geographic units seek to create geographies with roughly the same number of people. Since the size of the population is constant, the size of the geography varies. Traditional examples of population driven geographies include:
Census Tracts
Zip codes
While such geographies work well for congressional districting and postal delivery strategies, their inconsistent size complicates planning efforts. It is very difficult to compare one geography to another when they differ in geographic size. For example, two census tracts may each contain 4,000 people. But one may encompass four city blocks and a second hundreds of square miles. Furthermore, the second further complicates planning questions because how the population is distributed across the census tract is critical. Are the people generally concentrated in a corner? Or are they distributed relatively evenly across the tract?
Uniform Geography
It is the problem of incomparability between population based geographic units that occasions the need for uniform geographic units. Generally, such uniform geographic units must be custom created. Such geographies are based upon a uniform geographic area regardless of the number of people within them. One common implementation of this is geographic grids.
Geographic grids are created by dividing a designated area into uniform sized grids. The size of the grid unit varies based upon need. The problem of population based geographies is solved since it now allows two geographies to be compared. The constant is the size. The variable is the particular population configuration.
But there are problems with grids as well. They are completely blind to communities. As a result, a grid analysis may divide what is really a population center based upon no logic other than size of the grid specifications. The actual center of a population is immaterial to grid analysis.
The Best of Both Worlds: PopNet Technology
An ideal geographic unit would capture the best of population driven geographies (i.e. where the people reside) and the comparability of uniform grid geographies (i.e. where the geographic unit is uniform). This is what PERCEPT'S PopNet Technology does when it creates PeopleAreas.
pachart350.gif (22392 bytes)
The PeopleArea Advantage: A Custom Unit of Geography for Mission Planning
Optimally placed based upon location of population
Uniform in size for comparative analysis and modeling
Encompass an area more consistent
with ministry planning needs
Adaptable over time to reflect population changes
=>Click here to see a sample image of a full InfoMap
NEXT PAGE - How PeopleAreas Are Created. . .
 
 
PeopleArea 2' x 3' Wall Maps
 
Circular areas