Friday, June 22, 2018

Maps for Planning - Use Multiple Sources

Since 2008 articles on this blog have shown my uses of maps to help fill high poverty areas with youth serving organizations that include volunteer based tutor and/or mentor components. I started using maps for this purpose in 1993.

In many of the articles posted since 2011 I've shown map platforms hosted by other organizations in Chicago and in other cities.  Some contain different information, or present the information in different formats, than what I've done. 

I encourage people to learn to use these multiple platforms in their own map-stories and planning strategies. Here's an example.  The image below contains three maps showing the West side of Chicago and the Austin neighborhood.


The  infographic on the left, with a map showing the Austin neighborhood, and its location in Chicago, can be found on the Strengthening Chicago Youth web site. 

If you open the link above you will find a page listing all 77 Chicago area community areas, with an infographic like these for each area.  Shown are Austin and North Lawndale. Click on the graphic to get an enlarged version.

Open the Projects & Resources page of the SCY site and you'll see that the infographics are part of a set of actions intended to bring people together and try to develop strategies that reduce violence in Chicago.  I attend the quarterly meetings and get their monthly newsletter.

The other two maps shown above are from my collection. This map is from a pdf presentation showing the number of high poverty youth, age 6-17, in each community area on Chicago's West side. Austin and North Lawndale are at the far left.

This map was created using the Interactive Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, so it includes green stars indicating the location of non-school, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs. On the interactive map you can zoom into an area as small as a few blocks and click on the green star to go directly to that organization's web site.*

The third map is also from the Program Locator, but I've added on a photo from an August 2017 Chicago Tribune article, reporting on a shooting that took place on the West side of Chicago. I put that map in an article on this blog. 

For this map story I used the asset map section of  the Program Locator, which enables me to show faith groups, banks, hospitals, universities and drug stores in the map area. These are people who need to be strategically involved in helping youth programs and anti-violence solutions grow. 

I share my blog articles in a monthly email newsletter which I send to people at SCYChicago and many other groups, with the goal that they will borrow some of my ideas to help draw attention to the same issues that they focus on.  I also show links to SCY and many other Chicago organizations in my newsletters and the Tutor/Mentor web library.

The goal is shown by this planning graphic:


If someone is collecting information showing existing service providers as well as assets in an area, then anyone can use that information to invite people to connect in face-to-face and/or on-line gatherings.

If we can encourage growing numbers of people to use maps in bringing people together and drawing attention and resources to solutions needed to reduce violence and poverty by helping more kids go safely through school and into adult lives and jobs, we can make Chicago and other cities a better place for everyone to live and raise their families.

While I've posted stories on this blog since 2008 I have also posted related stories on the Tutor/Mentor blog since 2005.  Spend time browsing through the archives. You'll find  many ideas that you can apply to change the future.

Let me know if you'd like to know more about these resources.  I'm on Twitter @tutormentorteam

* Due to a lack of funds and talent the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator has not been upgraded since 2011 and program data has not been updated since 2013.  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Poems as Maps - take a look

If you've taken a look at any of the articles on this blog posted since 2008 you'll quickly see a commitment to using maps to show spaces where people need extra help.  While I embed GIS maps in stories, and point to story-maps created by others, the map is always the focal point.

Thus, I was curious when the following two Tweets crossed my feed today.  Take a look.


I vised the "Poems as Maps" web site and read this introduction.  I also visited the #writeout web site, to learn about this summer 2018 activity.

Both feature words to describe spaces. I'm intrigued. I'm inspired to spend some time reading more.  I hope you'll do the same.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Teaching Nineteenth-Century Slave Narratives using Digital Story Maps

Image from The Slave Trail site
I follow a #WorldGEOchat Twitter group that meets every Tuesday evening and am constantly finding new ideas for teaching and for engaging people with social issues that have roots in the past, but are cause for great concern in the present and the future.

Last week I saw a mention of using ESRI story maps to teach the history of the nineteenth-century US slave trade.  I clicked the link and started reading an article titled "Teaching Nineteenth-Century Slave Narratives: Engaging Student Scholars in the Production of Digital Story Maps" written by Amy Lewis, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Liberal Arts, St. Norbert College.

The article is an important read because it encourages student study of the American slave trade, which I feel is and important journey for many to take. It also shows how the students used ESRI story maps to plot escape routes and show movement of individual slaves while in captivity. The author says "the digital story maps engage their interest in ways that few other assignments can match and that they create an awareness of how digital media impacts the ongoing conversation about nineteenth-century slavery that continues to unfold in the United States."

I wanted to share this article, but it did not have usable images so I did a Google search for "slave trade ESRI story maps" then looked at the images.  The one I used in this article is from a site titled "The Slave Trail" which is an extensive resource.

This link opens the ESRI story map on that site.

Thus, by opening one link, reading the article, then doing a search for more information, I'm expanding my own learning. By writing this article, I'm hoping to spark the curiosity of others.  I go one step further. I put links to some of these articles in the Tutor/Mentor web library, to help people find some of the articles I've found valuable.

view examples of maps in stories
It looks like many colleges are using story maps and teaching digital literacy. If you're an educator, or someone interested in history, or in reversing the centuries of injustice caused by slavery, these resources will be useful to you.

However, I'm hoping that some of the students and faculty who learn to use GIS mapping to tell stories will look at what I've been trying to do for 25 years to use stories and maps to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs in areas of high poverty, frequent violence, poorly performing schools and many other indicators that can be viewed on a map.

I don't just want to build a deeper, more empathetic understanding. I want to influence more people to take the YOU role in this graphic. Become someone who helps mobilize time, talent and dollars from people YOU know, to support the growth and continued operations of mentor-rich programs in more places.

I maintain a list of nearly 200 organizations in the Chicago region that offer various forms of tutoring and/or mentoring and plot locations on maps to help build an understanding of where programs are located and where more are needed...and to help parents, volunteers and donors connect with individual programs.

This could be duplicated in other cities, with students from high schools and/or colleges building and maintaining the list of programs, and duplicating work I've been doing to use maps to draw attention to the data resources.

If this interests you, introduce yourself in the comment sections, or connect with me on Twitter @tutormentorteam or on Facebook, or LinkedIN

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Study Finds Millions Still Live in Poverty in Illinois

Listen to this short podcast talking about poverty in Illinois. Map and data courtesy of the Heartland Alliance of Illinois

While the number of people living in poverty is highest in Chicago and its suburbs, the greatest concentrations of poverty are in many downstate counties. 

Half the World Still not On-Line - Why this Matters.

Image from World Economic
Forum article
I saw this map on Facebook today and opened the World Economic Forum article to learn more. The orange and green areas of the map show hot spots of internet connectivity, meaning the US and Europe and scattered places in the rest of the world are on line and able to read my blog or connect with me and others in meaningful on-line interactions.

Read the article. See why this is important. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Understand Issues of the Two Koreas - ESRI story map

I follow a weekly #WorldGEOchat on Twitter and this week one Tweet pointed to an ESRI storymap showing history of the conflict between North and South Korea.


It's a demonstration of the use of ESRI story maps, and a valuable resource for understanding current events in the Far East.