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Geography faculty member publishes results of traffic accident study

Dr. Jun Yan, assistant professor of geography in the Department of Geography and Geology, recently completed research on traffic accidents in Bowling Green.

Using sophisticated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling with Kernal Density Estimation techniques, Dr. Yan’s research aimed to produce a smooth density surface of spatial point events over a 2-D geographic space. The article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Computers, Environment and Urban Systems.

Although quite theoretical in approach, the long-term goal of this type of research is to engage sophisticated GIS modeling in order to identify specific local effects as well as larger-scale accident hotspots.

GIS is becoming an increasing valuable analytical tool in identifying, mapping, and interpreting data as diverse as climate change impacts, stream flows, migration, and crime. Both students and faculty in the Department of Geography and Geology are employing GIS techniques in research on Mammoth Cave, water resources, fossil fuels, and myriad other issues that affect our local and regional communities. The goal of this research is to provide policy makers with a more sophisticated set of data upon which to base important political and economic decisions.

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