University of Wisconsin, Midwest Regional University Transportation Center, 2007
The U.S. Department of Transportation and Wisconsin Department of Transportation funded the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center at the University of Wisconsin, for a study of tools addressing the economic development benefits of highway projects. A report coming from that study looked at previously applied tools, including the HEAT (Highway Economic Analysis Tool) used by Montana Department of Transportation. It was entitled, "An Evaluation of the Business Attraction Module in Montana's Highway Economic Analysis Tool." The report concluded that:
"In the few years since HEAT was implemented, a number of refinements have been made to the concept by its developers." ...<The business attraction module used in >> "HEAT has evolved successively into LEAP, which has been incorporated into TREDIS (Transportation Economic Development Impact System). TREDIS addresses many of the limitations of" <the original version of> "HEAT by using NAICS for industrial categorization, encapsulating many national and local-level parameters, has a step to handle agglomeration, and uses census tracks to achieve a finer estimation of accessibility."
(Note: Text added in italics above to clarify the intent of the sentence.) While the original HEAT worked with the REMI model and a precursor of the LEAP business attraction module (that is in TREDIS), the HEAT concept has since been improved so that it can fully work off of TREDIS while also providing a range of GIS and statewide analysis enhancements that extend beyond what TREDIS can do alone. The full text of the Wisconsin study explains those aspects of HEAT and also explains the research by Weisbrod et al that is now an underpinning of TREDIS.