Alternative to School Planner™ Software
The problem of school redistricting is related to that of political redistricting, and Maptitude is the dominant software product in that industry (see clients). The Maptitude product suite has many tools for school planners including a comprehensive redistricting system. The software includes both manual and automated redistricting functions.
Strategic Planning for School Locations
Maptitude is widely used to conduct site, territory, and boundary research. For example, new schools can be considered in locations where there is a gap in provision, and research can be conducted to assess the current and future demand. By cross-referencing data from multiple sources, such as birth rates and demographics, it is even possible to prioritize certain locations to better inform real estate decisions.
Bus routing tools enable the development of bus routes and schedules for bus shifts. Public transit is a specialty of Caliper Corporation, with capabilities within our products that greatly exceed those of other planning packages. Caliper provides the only software that has a realistic mapping-based representation of bus systems. Our products provide special data structures for handling bus routes and to store, display, edit, and analyze them. An important feature is that bus routes can be directly mapped onto the streets so that interactions between traffic and buses can be treated explicitly. Moreover, stops need not be located at street intersections, but instead can be located where they really are and on the correct side of the street. The software automatically generates addresses for the bus stops, but the user can also override the software-generated address and interactively enter a house location on the map.
School District Master Planning
Planning for school redistricting, and for opening, expanding and closing schools is one of the hardest jobs facing a superintendent and school board. Robust and easy-to-use tools are needed. Maptitude provides a way to make this process straightforward and accountable.
EMPAC is a 3rd party product that builds on Maptitude to enable school redistricting and school planning. EMPAC provides very detailed student demographic projection reports down to the neighborhood level. These reports help with redistricting, school construction, school additions, and closures. Learn more in this presentation (PDF).
These videos show how Maptitude and EMPAC work together to provide the answers you need:
Maptitude - $695
EMPAC - $1995
In 2013, my company made a decision to move from ArcView to Maptitude because of ESRI’s annual licensing fees and the high expense for their extensions. At first, my GIS analyst was concerned about such a sudden change, but he was able to get proficient in only about a week. My firm serves school districts around the country, providing maps and demographic data to help with enrollment planning. Since changing to Maptitude, several clients have commented that the maps are easier to read, and provide more information than we used to be able to provide under ArcView. It was a good move. I just wish I had done it sooner.
Business Information Services, LLC