Current Project: Williamson County Development Proposal

The Group

GeoLand Services Group was created in September, 2004 to meet the needs of Dr. Lawrence Estaville's request for GIS data. The area he is interested in lies along the IH-35 corridor from the greater Austin area serviced by the Capitol Area Council of Governments (CAPCO) to the greater San Antonio area serviced by the Alamo Area Council of Governments (ACOG). We are a group of GEO4427, Advanced GIS II students attending Texas State University, and are dedicated to providing the highest quality GIS data, interpretation and analysis for our client.


A land suitability analysis is a prerequisite for good sustainable land management practices. It involves the evaluations of several criteria ranging from soils, current land use, roads, population, rivers, slope and floodplains. In the fast growing pace of Williamson County Texas there was a need for a new suitability study. The primary focus of this project was to try to identify the best areas in Williamson County suitable for urban development, agriculture and recreation. ArcGIS 8.3 and spatial analyst extension were used to match the suitability of these land uses. Social and economic factors were excluded from the study. The study findings indicate that the western half part of the county is mainly suitable for urban development and the eastern half of the county is well suited for agricultural practices. Suitable recreation areas were found throughout the county.

The Study Area

The extent of Williamson County can be seen in the image mosaic below. The image is a mosaic of 16 meter resolution black and white images with the county boundary superimposed in red.

Note: Aerial photograph mosaic courtesy of Space Imaging at

Williamson County was selected for this study because it is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas and in the country. According to the Texas Water Development Board, the population of Williamson County will increase from approximately 200,000 in 1999 to an estimated 750,000 in 2050 (Volente). Because of this enormous population growth, there is an urgent need to classify the land into preferred urban development, agriculture and recreational uses.

Recently, voters approved more than 100 million dollars in bonds for green space acquisition in the Austin-San Antonio Corridor (Wender). This approval is directly linked to the new State Highway 130 that serves portions of Williamson County. It is obvious that local citizens wish to incorporate green space and avoid creating another I-35. Clearly, major development would target Williamson County where the new road construction has already started. Now is the time to give some thought as to how Williamson County should develop in the next decade while preserving the beauty of Central Texas.


The goal of Geoland Services Company is to develop a spatial model in land evaluation for urban development, agriculture and recreation areas in Williamson County using GIS and other methods.


- Urban development raster analysis (soil, floodplain and road suitability)

- Final PowerPoint presentation, helped with poster creation

- Final Paper (abstract, introduction, urban development suitability, literature review, data and results, raster maps, discussion, conclusion, references)

- Urban development suitability metadata


- Poster creation and design

- Final paper (urban development suitability, introduction, literature review, data and vector map, discussion and conclusion)

- Road buffer metadata


- Data collection and analysis

- Maps creations, editing

- Final paper (agriculture suitability, literature review, data and results, maps, discussion, conclusion)

- CDs back up data

- Soil and agriculture suitability metadata


- Webpage design and construction

- Project flowchart

- Final paper (recreation suitability, literature review, data and results, map)

- Land use and recreation suitability metadata

Merry Christmas!