Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 386

Full Length Research Paper

Exploration and visualization of highway freight flow movements in the United States using Geographical Information System (GIS)

  Guoqiang Shen1* and S. Gizem Aydin2  
  1Division of Regional and City Planning, College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma 830 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019, United States of America. 2School of Industrial Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Carson Engineering Center, 202 W. Boyd St. Room 448C, Norman, OK 73069,United States of America.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 March 2012
  •  Published: 18 May 2012



This paper begins with a concise national overview of the transported goods, classified by Standard Classification of Transport Goods, and their movements on the highway networks in the United States using TransCAD, a geographical information system with strong transportation planning capabilities and the freight analysis framework database version 2.2 orFAF2.2. Then, the paper constructs more national views of from, to, within, and through freight flows for the 50 U.S. states and DC to highlight the spatial patterns of total freight flows by state. The local views of total freight flows focus on Oklahoma, the so called “cross-road” state of America. A linear regression model is established by linking state freight flows to state major socio-economic indicators, such as employment, revenue, income, and payroll for the year 2002. State total freight flows in tonnage or by commodity are calculated to reveal top or bottom states in handling from, to, within, and through freight flows.


Key words: Highway, freight, flow, regression, Geographical Information System (GIS), visualization.