Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Geology


Residential development on the urban fringe is a complex process. Developers are confronted with a diversity of considerations that has made site selection a difficult task. A possible solution may be the creation of a comprehensive information system to aid developers in their general site selection decisions. This study, then, is intended as a first step toward the development of such a system. The primary objectives of the study were four-fold: (1) to demonstrate that there is more to a landscape than meets the eye; (2) to provide developers with a unique way of looking at some of the geographic concerns that confront them; (3) to hopefully provide an aid to developers regarding their general site selection decisions; and (4) to suggest a paradigm for a comprehensive geographic information system (GIS). The study is conceptually-oriented. A GIS was created in which the distribution of selected physical attributes was employed to determine site desirability for residential development. The following considerations were included in the study: (1) the availability of paved streets; (2) the availability of utilities (sewer, water, and gas); and (3) the availability of favorable topography. Physical "desirability" surfaces were generated for a study area to reveal the presence of, and accessibility to, each of the desired features. The culmination of the study was the creation of a final desirability surface which revealed aggregate residential development potential from the standpoint of economic feasibility. The system created in this study represents a working part of a proposed comprehensive GIS for residential development planning. Before any real-world applications are undertaken, an expansion of the system would be required. However, this working system displays potential as a good starting point towards the creation of more advanced systems that would accommodate ever-larger and more diverse data bases.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Geography/Geology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1986, Kyle E. Juracek