Joe's Blog

Expanding the Depth of Research Studies


At Zanola Company, we are always looking for ways to expand the scope and depth of our research studies. For that reason, I've been taking classes at Washington University in St. Louis for their GIS Certification Program. GIS, Geographic Information Studies, is a system of computer tools and techniques that allows for the creation, manipulation, display and analysis of information in a spatial system, and will allow Zanola Company to expand its resources as I learn.

I just finished the program's introductory class, and integrated my usual Zanola Company work into my final project. For this project, I compared the data collected through MarketGraphics® audits over the past five years to every single residential parcel sold during the same time according to the St. Louis County Planning Department and Assessor's office to see if we had missed any subdivisions. 

After importing every parcel in St. Louis County, I narrowed it down to residential new construction sold between 2008 and 2012. I then manually eliminated every parcel that corresponded to a MarketGraphics®-tracked site. With each step, I made a fresh map, and in the end had 47 lots that could indicate missed subdivisions. After visiting them in the field during the current MarketGraphics® audit, I found one small subdivision with fresh activity and one currently-tracked subdivision with an addition that had not been counted. We are now looking into expanding this type of audit to other counties we track based on the availability of comparable data.

This type of project, with its multiple layers of municipal and proprietary Zanola Company-created data, is just a small sample of the type of analysis GIS will let us undertake. Adding even more depth to our research studies benefits each and every one of our clients as we build an even more solid data foundation for you to base your development, building, and marketing plans on.

By Angelo Zanola