Thursday, August 22, 2013

Demographic map shows race distribution in US

I've been using maps to draw attention and resources to all high poverty neighborhoods in Chicago so that every neighborhood could have great youth programs operating in non school hours, not just a few great programs in a few neighborhoods. I also maintain a Tutor/Mentor Institute blog which integrates maps and map ideas in its articles. I add new articles each week, such as one today where I'm pointing to a web map of racial distribution in the US, based on the 2010 Census.

This map, and others like it, illustrate that most big cities have high concentrations of minorities, and of minorities living in high poverty. Thus, connecting people from different cities in on-line forums where we talk about the problem and innovate new ways to overcome challenges, would make sense. Talent and dollars from many places could be supporting innovations like uses of mapping, that can be applied in many other places. This is new thinking when most philanthropic support focuses close to home or where a company is located.

Maintaining a map resource requires talent, tech support and operating dollars. As we connect more people who do this work with each other, such as in this web library, my hope is that we find ways to attract these resources to all of us, and that we find ways to partner where we use scarce resources more efficiently.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Homicide Rates in Chicago - Comparison with early 1990s

If you want to understand where the homicide rates are highest, and changes since the early 1990s, take a look at the maps and analysis on this City Notes blog.

SkyTruth - using GIS mapping to Expose Environmental Abuse

In today's digital edition of the Chicago Tribune I read a story about a geologist who is using satellite data and GIS mapping to "challenge oil, gas, mining and fishing organizations over how they are changing the earth. The organization is called SkyTruth. Visit the web site. Read their blog.

SkyTruth uses data to inform the public in many of the same ways as I've sought to use data and mapping to support the growth of volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs in Chicago. SkyTruth fought a long battle for attention and funding and still is not a "wealthy" organization. I continue to fight to find talent, dollars and partners to support my own efforts.

Another innovator who uses data to support changes in public policy is Tom Wong, an assistant professor at UC San Diego, who uses data to support changes in immigration legislation. This article in the LA Times describes the work Wong is doing. This is his blog.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Community Mapping Benefits

"Community mapping can be an extremely useful tool to build the capacity of nonprofits to effectively engage in policy advocacy. Mapping holds vast potential for advocacy because of the power of maps to both analyze and communicate complex information and relationships." That's a quote from this Policy Link report titled "Community Mapping for Health Equity Advocacy".
I've been trying to build this type of mapping capacity for nearly 20 years. This map shows how we can create maps showing political districts and share them as part of advocacy and capacity building. It's one of many maps that you can see in this blog and in many articles on the Tutor/Mentor Institute Blog, PDF Essays I've created, and on the Tutor/Mentor Institute web site. I encourage you to read through the Policy Link report and browse this site to learn more about ways maps and visualizations can be used.