Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the software and hardware used to manage, analyze and display spatial data. Spatial analysis of crashes and roadway characteristics is a powerful tool that can help key highway safety stakeholders identify problem areas and rank these areas by severity, cause or frequency. This data-driven approach to highway safety supports the analysis of projects in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). 

The GIS Team is actively involved in software application development, hot-spot analysis, map development, geo-locating local road crashes, adapting ESRI Safety Analyst Tools, local road curve analysis, and providing GIS support to LACRASH.

Software Application Development

Web and client-based applications are being developed for visual analysis of crashes. A web-based application developed for the Louisiana State Police allows the ability to filter crash occurrences at specific time intervals, such as day of week and time of day, as well as specific locations, like parish or troop, and by a predefined query. Users can also display the summery data in bar or pie chart format.

Hot-Spot Analysis

Crash rates at intersections and along road segments are calculated and compared to identify high-density crash areas at various time periods. This analysis is extended to specific categories such as alcohol-related crashes and fatalities.

Map Development

Thematic maps of Commercial Motor Vehicle crash data, such as manner of collision, severity type and inspections were developed for the Louisiana State Police. The results of hot-spot analyses are mapped for LSP and similar maps are being developed for the Regional Safety Coalitions.

Local Road Crash and Geo-Location

Accurate location of crashes is essential for spatial analysis. A locating algorithm was developed and applied to 2010-2012 local road crashes with manual map-spotting of unmatched records. This process is being refined so that it may be applied to crash data as received.

ESRI Safety Analyst Tools

The spot, strip and sliding scale crash analysis tools developed by ESRI are being adapted for our local roadway and crash data.

Curve Analysis

Currently under development, this project will use ArcGIS and Excel to automatically calculate the radius of curves on local roads. The knowledge gained will help to objectively identify and rank curves.


Roadway basemap, parish boundary, and city boundary files were developed in a format that can be utilized by LACRASH. When fully implemented in LACRASH this capability will use latitude and longitude to automatically select roadway, city and parish name thereby reducing officer time and effort in entering a crash record.