In real estate, a common mantra is “location, location, location!” Similarly, for retail businesses location is of fundamental importance. Recently Google has sought location analysts to program movie ads for specific markets (Austin American Statesman March 2, 2011). An Internet search will yield numerous listings for “location planning analysts” that seek persons to provide expertise for locating business activities. Many retail businesses have failed because their location did not provide sufficient customer exposure and convenience. For other businesses, non-government organizations (NGO’s), and government agencies as well, optimal location of a facility is of critical importance. Locating such activities is a quintessential geographic problem. Larger firms, NGO’s, especially chambers of commerce, and government agencies have specialists and departments whose tasks include analyzing locations and markets to determine where to locate their facilities and services. Smaller businesses, NGO’s and government agencies hire consulting firms that perform these services on a contractual basis.
The Certificate in Location Analysis provides a focused background to prepare students to work as location analysts in the public and private sectors. Such persons analyze spatial data to identify and optimize locations for business and public activities. Educational objectives are (1) to know and apply the concepts, principles, and methods of location analysis and (2) to know geographic concepts and skills that are essential to optimize business and public activities.