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Product Specification (PDF File)

Exciting news for administrators in redistricting and attendance.

GeoSchools© provides the end-user with an easy-to-use interface that automates and streamlines several useful functions in conjunction with redistricting. GeoSchools© leverages the power of GIS through the use of either TIGERUS© or GeoAuthor®. GeoSchools© was developed in MapBasic and operates within the MapInfo Professional environment. As a MapBasic application, GeoSchools© appears on the MapInfo menu bar as a native menu option within MapInfo Professional. This flexibility has allowed International Computer Works, Inc. (ICW) the ability to integrate GeoSchools© as a seamless application to compliment the power of MapInfo Professional.

When GeoSchools© is selected from the menu bar, a pull down menu is displayed. An arrow next to a menu item indicates a pop out submenu exists. For illustration purposes we have expanded the complete menu set as displayed below.

At the core of GeoSchools©, there are four groups of tables that are used as input to create new data for the school planner. These files consist of the catalog of segment tables contained in the map project, the block table that is created from the enhanced TIGER/Line files or network of segments from alternative GIS databases, a road table for geocoding, and the geocoded student table which is typically downloaded from the main frame that supports the school registrar.

The user may select either TIGERUS© or GeoAuthor® as the GIS editor and database manager to leverage the functionality offered by GeoSchools©. GeoSchools© uses the linear database created and maintained in the map database to create block splits and generate a road table on demand. This road table can be used for geocoding students and testing the latest updates to the map database. The block table used in GeoSchools© was generated from the enhanced TIGER/Line Files created using either TIGERUS© or GeoAuthor® which builds these polygons from a network of segments from alternative GIS databases. The alternative database may have been created in another GIS product within the school district or county GIS department, thus leveraging the investment in a map database already created. Because the road table and the block table are derived from the same database, the geometry of the two files is identical.

For additional information about either TIGERUS© or GeoAuthor®, refer to those products on this web site.

GeoSchools© uses the geographic proximity of the objects in the student database in relation to the block polygon table to tabulate the occurrences of demographic attributes. It records the total count of each occurrence by type of demographic, entering the value in a field of the block table.

Following is a list of the items on the pull down menu and a brief overview of the functionality for each option.

1. Block Prep

This menu item will perform the functions that could be otherwise performed through the Mapinfo Professional command sequence Table>Maintenance>Table Structure>Modify Table Structure. GeoSchools© adds a series of fields to the block table for purposes of tabulating the demographics of the geocoded student population.


2. Block Update

After the block table has been modified to accommodate fields for high school, middle school, and elementary school attendance zones and student data, this menu option will count the occurrences of the demographic characteristic per block and record the count.


3. Address Dictionary

This option has a submenu that permits the type of dictionary to build. A dictionary in either case is an ASCII text file that contains street name, address ranges, and attendance zone information.

Electronic will create a file that contains all of the information found in the Paper Dictionary plus longitude and latitude data.

Paper will create a file that contains records for each side of the street including street name, address range, and attendance zone.


4. Block Split

Allows the user the ability to split a block using a line that is either already in the map database, or that is subsequently added. Upon the execution of the block split, the tabulation of the demographics is automatically adjusted for the new blocks.


5. Street Map

Builds a street map from the segments in the map database intended for use in geocoding the student table.


6. Walk Zones

Provides the user with a parameter driven interface with which to identify the streets that fall within walking distance of a given campus.


7. MapMaker

Creates map layers for the planner from the list of districts in the block table. These can be used for day-to-day applications of desktop mapping or publishing to a web site.


8. Legal Description

Builds a file of legal descriptions for one or more of the boundaries built with MapMaker.


9. GeoCode

Maps the students, campus locations, bus stops, etc. as symbols along the network of streets. Different than other geocoders, this module uses the 5 digit ZIP Codes that appear as left and right side attributes of the each street segment in the network of streets.


10. Table Maintenance

Consists of a submenu that provides access to GeoSchools© functions which manage files as opposed to manipulating individual or groups of objects in a table. Following is a list of the items and a brief overview of the functionality represented by this menu group.

Save Tables will save multiple tables relieving the user from the need to perform multiple saves.

Revert Tables will revert multiple tables relieving the user from the need to perform multiple revert table commands.

Pack Tables will pack multiple tables relieving the user from the need to perform multiple packing operations.


11. Setup

To initiate a work session the user starts with this menu item. This feature allows the user to select a project, the block table, and the geocoded student table.


12. Parameters



13. Preferences

Can be turned on or off and work with the block split tool.


14. Exit GeoSchools

Exits GeoSchools© and removes it from the MapInfo Menu Bar.


15. About GeoSchools

When the user selects this menu item, a dialog box displays the version and serial number of the active copy of GeoSchools©.