GIS Analysis Project

For my geographic information systems (or GIS) course we were to analyze something of our choosing using ArcGIS. I chose to compare the location of the houses in my hometown neighborhood to that of the fire hydrants. In other words my goal was to check the usefulness of fire hydrants and their ease of access.


Through my analysis, and research of fire hydrants, I determined that there are a few houses that do not have ideal access to a hydrant.

The local fire agency typically chooses the location, and they probably don’t use GIS (however I am not sure on this). Had they used GIS they would notice things like certain hydrants being nearly worthless, and certain houses not having quick access to a hydrant when needed by firemen.


There is an equation known as the flow continuity equation which states the flow coming in is equal to the flow going out. There’s another equation known as the needed fire flow equation. It’s basically a function of the area, in square feet, of the building in interest.


It should be noted that the text on this poster appears very small, due to the scale shown here. However, the described setup of the presentation involved people walking by and therefore standing close to the poster. The poster would have been 4 foot by 3 foot which resulted in adequate size of the text.

GIS Poster Project

Analysis Conclusion

Chosen Building One

Building one has a needed fire flow of 1725 gpm. No one single hydrant nearby can deliver this amount. Therefore you must use more than one hydrant. Either of the two orange ones and the red one combined still doesn’t reach 1725. Therefore, you must use both orange ones even though they are both further away than the red one. This is what I meant by some hydrants being nearly worthless. It should be noted that the needed fire flow is a worst case scenario type thing which means the red hydrant will be fine for small fires.

Chosen Building Two

Building two has a needed fire flow of 2300 gpm. It sits between some green hydrants and blue hydrants. One of those blue hydrants is enough. However, but if you look at an aerial image you would see that the area between the building and the hydrant is highly wooded and very steep. Therefore, you will need to use two green hydrants instead of one blue hydrant.

Chosen Building Three

Building three has a needed fire flow of 1725 gpm. It sits pretty far away from any hydrant. As you can hopefully see in the images the length of the hose reaches over a thousand feet. The hydrants are actually closer than this, but until you arrive on site it’s going to be hard to know if the hose can go straight. Therefore, the paths take the path of the street which we know will be clear.