GIS Technology Supports in Locating Funerary Facilities

The shortage of public facilities for funerary service and the traditional social custom in Taiwan inevitably cause the NIMBY (not in my backyard) confliction when locating funerary facilities such as funeral home, memorial pagoda, and cemeteries, which might bring sustainability issues for landscaping, air pollution by crematorium, and noise pollution of traffic.


The existing funerary areas in Pingtung, Taiwan have caused loss of residential property value, a stagnant population growth and emigration, and pollution problems. To assist the local government in facilitating the economic development, Pingtung Senior High School adopted a GIS-based approach combined with the environmental concept of Feng-shui to deal with the location problem of crematorium and funeral home, environmental issues, etc.


In addition to overcoming possible objections by local residents and environmentalists, GIS allows Pingtung City Government, Taiwan to indentify the best location with in-depth GIS analyses to build crematory and consequently share the analyzed data with relevant government sectors for better town and country planning.


In this project, SuperGIS Desktop 3.1a, SuperGIS Network Analyst, and Address Locator enable the officials and the students to display, edit, manage, and query geospatial data, overlap the feature layers and satellite images of Pingtung county and city, as well as carry out buffer analysis for landscape planning. Besides, Google Earth was also used to explain the relevant topographic features, terrain, and land utilization types in the research area.


With Address Locator and Network Analyst, the officials can explore the relationship between land prices and other relevant factors. Not only helping the officials to find the best sites for crematorium and examine the differences between ideal locations and proper locations, SuperGIS Network Analyst also performs network analysis for supporting various kinds of applications such as transportation planning, logistic, pipe-line maintenance, and determination of retail potential.


After analyzing the six main factors, including water resources and watersheds, schools and hospitals, population densities of the districts, gas stations, transit access, as well as wind conditions, the result shows that the ideal locations for funerary facilities are different from the current ones chosen by the local government.


With GIS technologies, the government now can make wise decisions with more informed data on re-allocating funerary facilities and benefit from reducing huge costs in the maintenance of existing facilities.

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