Development of a spatial database of retail provision

The CSRS research project conducted in the School of Management, at the University of Edinburgh, is exploring the feasibility of creating and maintaining an integrated spatial database of retailing in Scotland using Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

This spatial database will contain basic and essential information describing the parameters of individual shops such as retail type, geographical location, postal address and floorspace. In addition, there is the possibility of adding other store-based information as supplementary material at a later stage in this project.

Edinburgh City Map İ (1999) The XYZ Digital Map Company Ltd (part derived from Cities Revealed (R) photography İ 1998 The Geoinformation Group (R) Ltd).

750 Point 755 755 Transreal Fiction 7 Cowgatehead EH1 1JY
751 Point 756 756 Wind Things 11 Cowgatehead EH1 1JY
752 Point 757 757 Fabhatrix 13 Cowgatehead EH1 1JY
753 Point 758 758   Cowgate EH1 1JX
754 Point 759 759 Grassmarket Advice Centre 18 Cowgate EH1 1JX
755 Point 767 767 La Tavema 3 James Court EH1 2BP
756 Point 768 768 The Judge Jolly 7 James Court EH1 2BP
757 Point 760 760 Deacon Brodie's Cavern 435 Lawnmarket EH1 2NT
758 Point 761 761 Jamie Scotts 449 Lawnmarket EH1 2NT
759 Point 762 762 The Edinburgh Woolen Mill 453 Lawnmarket EH1 2NT
760 Point 763 763   Lawnmarket EH1 2NT

The feasibility study comprises several linked studies to explore different data collection methods and establishment of the resource needs to use these different methods to compile a full and optimised data collection system. The study also includes evaluation of the methods needed to keep the database up-to-date and how to record the changes and the history of changes which are necessary for trends and time-series analysis. This feasibility study aims to cover a wide range of retail formats including the retail parks, shopping centres/malls and the streetfront retail shops. In addition, the database will provide a distinctive regional theme focusing on the multiple retailers operating in Scotland.

The GIS implementation in this research enables mapping, manipulation, storage, retrieval, updating and analysis of the locational and attributional information in the Scottish retail database using standardised and customised GIS functionality.

This GIS functionality facilitates the interrogation of the retail database to, for example, display locations of stores which share particular characteristics or to analyse the spatial dynamics and inter-relations of stores of different retail types such as adjacencies, clustering and nearest neighbours. Another example of GIS functionality is to pull out vacant stores which exist within or beyond a specified radius from stores of a particular retail type which may be potential for further branching.

We are still at the feasibility stage of this project but first results suggest that such a GIS-based system would be possible and of potential value to many groups involved in the retail sector.

The object of the study is to ascertain feasibility and to make sample parts of the database freely available to research user communities.