Learner-Shaped Technology

October 9, 2015

GIS and Social Justice

Filed under: data visualization,gis,history,mapping — Mike W @ 10:18 am

At a recent faculty gathering on community engagement, I was asked to provide some examples of how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is being used to support different social justice initiatives. While there are many examples, I didn’t have much time to share, so I highlighted just a few compelling examples, which are shown below.

If you’re interested in learning more about GIS and social justice, these resources are a great place to start, although I find the inequity that the maps reveal to be very disheartening.

New Orleans

New Orleans, LA from Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/most-segregated-cities-census-maps-2013-4?op=1

  1. The Revolution Will Be Mapped – This article gives an overview and describes some recent cases in which maps played a key role in highlighting discriminatory practices in the provision of public services.
  2. Redlining Maps –If you click on an area, especially those in red, you can see the disturbing (stunning, actually) area descriptions–circa 1930.
  3. Million Dollar Blocks – NPR highlighted the Justice Mapping Center’s work on visually representing incarceration rates and costs. Million dollar blocks are “areas where more than $1 million is being spent annually to incarcerate the residents of a single census block.” The maps are being used to identify areas for establishment of re-entry programs. You can check out data for Greenville County by zip code and census block here. Click on the state, then the county for details.
  4. Maps of Highly Segregated Cities – Each map provides a dissimilarity index. “A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered very high segregation.” The symbology is very powerful. For New Orleans, you can clearly see the high elevation area along the river that geographer Richard Campanella refers to as the “white teapot.”
  5. Underbounding – I happened upon this term while doing a little research for the session. This is a practice by which certain groups (usually poor minorities) are excluded from annexation and associated services.
  6. Dividing Lines: School Districts in the US – This map shows how current educational funding practices limit fair access.
  7. Social Explorer – Our library is currently evaluating a subscription to Social Explorer, which should make it much easier to use the browser to map demographic data going all the way back to the 1790 Census. No desktop software required.

August 2, 2008

Campus Technology Award

Filed under: data visualization,gis,google earth,history,mapping — Mike W @ 8:21 am

Our project using Google Earth to connect Boston, NY, and Greenville in Lloyd Benson’s Urban History class won an Annual Campus Technology Award. Check it out!

Here’s a little bit more info on the project that I put together for a NITLE conference this spring.

 google_earth_tour.gif

Project FAQs

It’s amazing how quickly things change. Picasa and Flickr now automatically put geocoded images on the map. For Flickr you have to make sure this is set to ‘yes’ in the privacy and permissions section of your profile.

flickr

Here’s an example of an image in Picasa that is automatically placed on the map. I took it with an iPAQ with built-in GPS. I almost walked right through the web when getting out of my car. That would have been interesting! It reminds me of the time I put my kayak on my head to carry it, and a big spider that had set up camp started falling towards my face. I closed my mouth just in time!

spider

December 7, 2006

Timeline software with AJAX

Filed under: ajax,education,history,science,technology — Mike W @ 11:05 am

You’ve probably experienced AJAX through google maps and other websites. It makes for a great web experience, especially for the impatient. Dr. Lloyd Benson provided this timeline link. My colleague, Dr. Diane Boyd, had a great idea to combine timelines and maps, updating the map as the user progressed along a particular timeline. We’ll have to learn AJAX programming to do it, or perhaps it might fit into an First Year Seminar with a historical and technological focus, and the students could drive the construction. It’s definitely something to keep on the radar as we continue to strive to help students incorporate historical perspectives into their learning experiences.

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