Spatial network analysis : Gas station outside the province and their shortest cut from the border


In the summer of 2017, at the request of Revenu Québec, Géolocation delivered cartographic products related to the taxation zones on gasoline. The purpose of the project was to provide the necessary geographic data to define the tax rates applicable to gasoline and fuel oil, including : competitors within 20 km of motorized road from the nearest access point to the border of the province of Quebec as well as the position of these access points and the areas of taxation defined by the law. The project was primarily done in ArcGIS Pro, then converted to KML format that is compatible with Oracle Locator and Google products. In the next sections, you will find a brief introduction to the KML format and a presentation of the products delivered.


KML or Keyhole Markup Language

The KML format, or KMZ for the compressed version, was originally developed to display geographic data in Google Earth. Its framework is based on XML, a descriptive language with a succession of tags to customize the information. That said, the KML inherits XML standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and also relies on the specifications of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international standardization organization in geomatics. Like an HTML page, it can be easily modified using a text editor. Below, the location of our office in a KML file from Google Earth.

 <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<kml >


                <name>Géolocation – Arpentage et Géomatique</name>












Why not give it a try? Just copy these few lines into a text document, then save it with the extension ” .kml “, to view the location of our office in Google Earth!


Cartography of the access points to the province of Quebec

Thanks to a spatial query, access points at the border have been located where the road network of Address Québec crosses the geopolitical boundaries. This operation relied on the road networks of the province of Ontario and New Brunswick, as well as those of the following US states: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Are excluded from this selection particular cases such as dead ends that do not allow to cross the border.


A list of the competitors outside the province

 The gas stations within 20 km of vehicular access points at the border outside the Province are considered as competitors under the law. They have been identified with Google Maps and various mobile apps that list gas stations. It is a powerful tool as the data is regularly updated by a community of Internet users as soon as the price of gasoline fluctuates. With network spatial analysis tools, the shortest paths are easily generated between each competitor and a border access point. The information linking each trip to its point of departure and destination is of course recorded.


Realization of taxation regions

At the request of Revenu Québec, the zones of taxation were drawn with respect to the descriptions provided by the legislation as well as the boundaries of the municipalities and the electoral districts of 1992 and 2011. For a few regions, buffer zones have been modeled on each side of carriage roads from the Address Québec datasets.

The spatial analysis of networks can make it possible to answer multiple problems, for example:  

  • Which geomatics firm is the closest to my area of ​​operation?
  • What is the service area of ​​a pizzeria for delivery in less than 15 minutes?
  • What is the optimal route to be followed by the ambulance attendant in the event of a medical emergency?   


Geolocation has the expertise and the tools to structure and integrate data for your specific GIS projects requiring the spatial analysis of networks. Do not hesitate to contact us to use our specialized services in geomatics!



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