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Breanna Volz

Dr. Fan
ENVL 3302
18 Dec 2018
Essay Assignment: Deer Warning Signs in NJ
A spatial problem that can be solved using GIS is where to put signage warning deer
collisions in New Jersey. This project could be useful and important for people that drive long
distances, or to help new drivers become more aware of their surroundings. Deer collisions can
cause great damage to vehicles and their drivers, so knowing where collisions are likely to occur
and therefore knowing where to put the signage warning about collisions could help reduce
injury to people and deer, reduce vehicular accidents, reduce damage to cars, and overall
promote road safety. Information needed to help decide where to put the road signs would be:
road map, census data showing population density, forested area map, hydrologic map, and deer
population survey information showing the densities of their populations. Road locations and
types, human populations, forests, and water can be shown on one map because it would show
major roads which intersect with areas of high human populations (more likely to be high in
traffic) and deer habitats (more likely to experience collision). This map would also help to show
which habitats may overlap with more high populated areas, and therefore would potentially be
good places to add signage warning of potential collision. A second map showing the relation of
deer population densities to road locations could be used to compare with human densities, and
find areas that may overlap – areas of high densities or both humans and deer – and therefore aid
in choosing where to add signage.
Showing the relationship between the deer population density and the location of the
roads would be crucial in choosing where to put the collision warning signs. The closer known
populations are to roads, the more likely collisions are to occur. Therefore, it would be very
important to show the spatial relationship between the location of roads and the location of deer
populations. Similarly, it would be important to know where human populations are most dense
in relation to habitats which would also be related to the location of roads. If an area is more
densely populated, the roads in this same area are more likely to be trafficked. If there are also
forested areas in close proximity to the high human populations and their respective roads, more
collisions would therefore occur.
To show this spatial relationship, the road map would need to be at a small scale. This
small-scale road map would be very beneficial because it would have great detail, which would
be the most important to the goal of locating the places to place road signs. Features such as the
water or hydrologic map, as well as the forest map, would not need to be a small scale because
such detail is not required. A general idea of water availability would be substantial in finding
habitat for the deer. Finally, to find the ideal habitats, two maps would be created. Both maps
should include a highly detailed road map of New Jersey. A multiple ring buffer can be included
at 1 mile, 2 miles, and 3 miles away from the roads. The first map will include the road with
buffers, human densities, forests, and water maps. This map will show where habitat overlaps
with areas of human density within 1, 2, and 3 miles of a road. This map will be compared with
the second map, which will include the road map with buffers, and known deer populations. This
will show where deer populations are in relation to roads within 1, 2, or 3 miles. The maps can
then be compared to find where most trafficked and collision risky roads are compared to known
deer populations within 3 miles of the road, and can therefore help decide where to put the
collision warning signs.