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The City of Oxford’s Community Development Department desired to have an updated inventory of all house sign names and houses with missing address numbers within the Mile Square area of Oxford, OH. Identification of house address numbers from the street is vital to improving EMS response times and is required per City of Oxford Municipal Code. There was also interest in whether or not there were house signs in violation of Oxford Municipal Code and data on recently added house signs after the start of the new school year. The City sought out Miami University’s Geography/ArcGIS Department to perform the task. Over the course of the Fall 2016 semester, a team of four GEO 442/542 (Advanced ArcGIS) students, from various backgrounds including geography, architecture, urban planning, public administration, and biology conducted data collection and analysis in the study area. Our team’s report outlines our findings; best practices of other organizations around the country; issues/solutions with data collection and Esri’s Collector App; and other project deliverables, such as point and heat maps, and address reports of missing address numbers (for further investigation). Overall, our team found that an overwhelming majority of house signs in the study area are located on the several blocks south of High St, and between Beech St and Campus Ave. The least amount of signs were located in the northeast part of Mile Square. While many of these signs contained double entendres or lewd phrasing, all were within compliance with Oxford Municipal Code. Generally, the study area does not have many houses that are missing address numbers; however, we did find that the northernmost blocks of Mile Square, particularly between Vine St and Sycamore St, has the highest concentrations of missing numbers.
During life-threatening emergencies, every second counts. It is our hope that the findings of this study can provide EMS and local law enforcement agencies with more accurate information for improved response times and investigations. Overall, our findings support that most of Oxford’s Mile Square area is in acceptable condition, in regards to house signs and address numbers. We would recommend that the City further investigates our list of addresses with missing numbers, in order to improve local and county EMS response times and to put those houses up to code. Our team relied heavily on Esri’s Mobile Collector app to collect our data in the field, which we found to be overall a much more streamlined and intuitive process, over traditional pen and paper. Reflecting on the semester, our team ran into several minor, yet hindering complications with the Collector app while in the field, causing members to have to recollect data in some cases. We would recommend gaining a moderate level of comfortability with the application before collecting data in the field, in order to prevent the time-consuming process of recollection. Looking forward, we suggest that the City of Oxford uses this data as a benchmark for future studies to be conducted each year. In many cases, house names can change on a yearly, or in some cases, a semester basis. Using the data our team has collected will significantly reduce data collection time when the time comes for future studies.
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