Products, Services, and Data

Models and Other Technical Tools

COMPASS uses computer modeling and other technical tools to examine the current and future state of our region – from transportation to air quality to land use, and more. These tools, and the data they provide, support COMPASS member agencies as well as COMPASS’ own planning efforts.

COMPASS computer models and related technical tools include:

  • CommunityViz
    • CommunityViz® is a software tool used for scenario planning and similar applications. It works as an extension to Esri’s ArcGIS® geographic information systems (GIS) software and combines computerized maps and graphics with analysis capabilities to allow users to sketch future land use scenarios for a specific geographic area and view what impacts they will have on economic development, transportation, housing, agriculture, and other topics of interest. COMPASS used CommuntiyViz to develop the projected future land use and demographics for Ada and Canyon County for Communities in Motion 2040 and to support local member agencies with subarea planning. These demographics are one of the most important inputs into the regional travel demand model.
  • Performance Measure Framework
    • COMPASS received a competitive Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) grant to develop a tool to quantify and normalize the values of different transportation investments using the eight elements of CIM 2040 (transportation, land use, housing, economic development, open space, health, farmland, and community infrastructure). The end product is a framework that is used to help prioritize capital projects. The framework allows the user to compare the benefits of a project across all eight disparate CIM elements, to lead to more objective and transparent decision-making.
  • Regional Land Use Allocation Model
    • COMPASS is currently evaluating models to support the demographic forecast and land use allocation for long-range planning. One model, Cube Land, is a socioeconomic model based on economic theory that forecasts change in land use (households and employment). Once successful it will be integrated in the Regional Travel Demand Forecast Model to provide more dynamic results. COMPASS is in the testing phase right now and might use this for the next Communities in Motion plan.
  • Regional Travel Demand Forecast Model
    • The regional travel demand forecast model estimates and forecasts average weekday and peak hour demand for the transportation system in the Treasure Valley. The model assigns vehicle trips to roadways represented in the model and forecasts ridership demand for the ValleyRide bus system (also represented in the model). The model can inform transportation planning processes by showing where congestion may occur in the future, travel time on key corridors, and the effects of land use decisions on the overall system. The model outputs are used to evaluate and help plan future transportation projects, support the Ada County Highway District's Capital Improvement Plan, conduct air quality conformity demonstrations, provide analysis on the potential impacts of proposed developments, and respond to various member requests such as performing cost/benefit analyses for specific transportation investments.
  • Transportation Economic Development Impact System (TREDIS)
    • TREDIS is a suite of tools that assesses economic impacts, benefits, and costs of transportation policies, plans, and projects from alternative perspectives. It is used by COMPASS to help prioritize transportation projects for the long-range transportation plan and to provide data, such as cost/benefit analyses, in support of grant applications for individual projects. Project cost and trip-related information from the regional travel demand model are necessary inputs into TREDIS. Simply put, TREDIS helps answer the question of “what do we get out of investing – or not investing – in a particular project?”

For additional information contact MaryAnn Waldinger, 208/475-2242, or Carl Miller, 208/475-2239.