Publication Date


Committee Chair

Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.


Transportation planners have usually disregarded unimproved roads and trails. However, in applications such as disaster relief, emergency evacuations, and recreational hiking and treks there is a need to consider all possible paths on a transportation network. These previously ignored travel routes differ from paved roads in their increased susceptibility to the effects of weather and limits on particular transportation modes. The transportation planning system used by the client was upgraded from one that considered only paved roads to one showing an integration of roads, off-road vehicular trails, and footpaths. The Trail Analyst Extension was developed as an extension to a commercial GIS software package to provide a suite of tools to: 1) augment the location of trails with additional attributes, such as, elevation, water hazards, and meteorological events to better facilitate seasonal planning; 2) construct a transportation network that includes the trails and unimproved roads, as well as paved roads; and 3) segment the transportation network edges according to user-defined constraints. The Trail Analyst Extension provides planners a means to tailor routes based on recent meteorological conditions and varying modes of transport.


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