Geographic Information Systems (GIS): A Tool for Marketing, Managing, and Planning Municipal Park Systems


  • Bruce E. Wicks
  • Kenneth F. Backman
  • Jeffrey Allen
  • Donald Van Blaricom


Geographic Wormation Systems, social equity, TIGER files.


To make informed decisions, administrators of recreation and park services must now rely upon more and increasingly complex data. This study demonstrates how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) may be employed in an urban setting to integrate spatial and demographic information. This will help park and recreation administrators manage growth, minimize the subjectivity of measuring existing service allocation, and provide an efficient, effective, and equitable public service. The U.S. Bureau of the Census's Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER) files, demographic data, and map overlays was used to demonstrate the value of this system. A succession of four maps were created using current data to show how the social need for parks might be measured. Results of this analysis indicate that GIS technology, and its ability to manipulate complex data sets, is a valuable tool now available to planners and managers of leisure services.





Regular Papers