Thursday, July 5, 2018

World Migration Map Combines GIS and Social Network Analysis

I'm on Twitter @tutormentorteam and my feed constantly introduces me to new ideas.  At the left is a world map showing migration patterns, to new countries and from home countries. It was created using a combination of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps, and Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools.

This article shows how the map was created, tells why it was created and points to a live tool that anyone can use to better understand one of the most important issues facing the US and the world as we move further into this century.

If you operate a volunteer-based tutor and/or mentor program and include a computer center at your facility, you and your volunteers could be reading these articles and then teaching young people to use the tools. In a few years, they could be creating these stories and in a few more years they might be leading companies or leading the nation, using these technologies as decision support tools.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Policy Map - Looks like great resource

Social Needs Index map
I use Twitter daily because it constantly feeds me new ideas and resources. For instance, yesterday I saw a post about a PolicyMap Social Index map. Today I looked up the site and found a wealth of resources.

The map at the left is from a blog article titled, "Social Needs Index", posted on June 25, 2018.

In the resources section is a "Mapchats blog" with a collection of useful articles that show "insights into GIS, Data and Mapping".

The only negative to this site is that it's not free, except to read the articles. The subscription prices will be out of reach for many....but not all.

If you're using data and maps to make a case for investment in specific geographic locations the site is worth adding to your own resource library. I'm adding it to this section in the Tutor/Mentor web library.

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.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

America: More Diverse. Still Segregated

Map from Washington
Post,
5/2/18
This map shows segregation in the Chicago region and is part of an extensive article titled: Segregation Map: America is more diverse than ever, but still segregated",  in the May 2, 2018 Washington Post. click here

This is not a new issue. I've been adding stories about racism and segregation to this article and this section of my web library for many years.

The Washington Post article draws it's data from a new book titled Cycle of Segregation, written by Kyle Crowder and Maria Krysan . Here's an interview on WGN Radio with one of the authors.

The challenge continues to plague Chicago and other parts of the country. It's a complex problem and as Maria Krysan said in the Washington Post article:
We don't have the integrated social networks. We don't have integrated experiences through the city. It's baked-in segregation,” Krysan said. “Every time [a person] makes a move [they’re] not making a move that breaks out of that cycle and making a move that regenerates it.”
 I've supported well-organized, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs for more than 30 years because these programs are integrated social networks connecting youth and families from inner city neighborhoods with a mix of volunteers from many different parts of Chicago, many different business backgrounds, and many faith, age and racial backgrounds.


While I've led the Tutor/Mentor Connection since creating it in 1993, few leaders have adopted the strategies I've shared and/or made consistent, long-term commitments to helping this type of program start and grow in all high poverty areas of the city and suburbs. Furthermore, of the nearly 200 youth serving organizations I point to on this list, very few show a strategy and theory of change that describes their program as a social network connecting youth in poverty to people, experiences and opportunities beyond.

Next week The Chicago Community Trust will host it's annual On The Table event, where people from throughout the region gather in small groups to discuss issues important to them, and to Chicago. 

My hope is that many of these groups will use maps like I share and point to on this site, and discuss ways they and people they know can build a better understanding of the places and problems of racial segregation in the Chicago region, then map out strategies and action steps that people can take daily to try to close the gaps.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Does Your Elected Representative Have a Map Gallery on Her Web Site?

Yesterday I received an email newsletter from Spotlight on Poverty that featured an interview with Dwight Evans of the 2nd Pennsylvania Congressional District. It mentioned that he hosts maps on his web site and I did some digging and interaction with Rep. Evans on Twitter, to find the link.

Below is a screen shot of his map gallery page, with a screen shot of the ESRI map that you get when you click on one of the map icons in his gallery.

If you spend some time on this blog you can read articles posted since 2008 encouraging Chicago and Illinois politicians to  use maps strategically to show where non-school, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are needed in their district, who is already there providing these services (and who often need help themselves), and places where the incumbent has delivered needed support. That could be dollars, volunteers, attention, partners, or all of these.

My past articles and the maps the Tutor/Mentor Connection created are intended to inspire and serve as templates for work others could be doing in many other places.  Click here, here, and here to see a collection of articles.

While I focus on helping youth tutor/mentor programs grow, the map platforms and articles that I point to show many indicators of need and could be used to help a wide range of service providers....a comprehensive system of support....be available in different map areas.

My father's family is from Philadelphia and I've many siblings, nieces and nephews living there, so I hope Rep. Evans and others will take a look at what I've suggested, and that they will send me links to pages on their web sites where they host map galleries and blog articles showing their use of maps.

At the same time, this use of maps should be happening in Chicago, Illinois, every US state and in every big city in the world.

However, I can't influence what happens in most of these places because I don't live there. However, there's a strategy that you can follow.

Last Tuesday the weekly ChiHackNight featured Judy Hertz, Executive Director of Midwest Academy She gave an introduction a power analysis, planning and community organizing strategy that I think many could benefit from using.

Browse the #ChiHackNight tweets from Tuesday, April 17, and you can see photos and comments from here presentation. Here's the video from Tuesday's session.


If you do the research and follow her recommendations, you can help people in every district figure out ways to influence people in power. It's a process. It takes work. The maps can help.

If your elected representative is using maps the way I'm suggesting and hosts a map gallery on his/her web site, send me your examples and I'll add them as updates to this article.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Justice Map - Visualize Race & Income Data

My Twitter feed today included a Tweet that introduced me to the JusticeMap project. The screen shot at the left shows African American population in the US as a percent of total population.

This site  enables you to "Visualize race and income data for your community, county, and country. It includes tools for data journalists, bloggers and community activists."

It's easy to use. You can click one of the categories on the horizontal bar at the top of the map to create new map views, showing different demographic groups.

You can also zoom in to focus on different regions of the country. This map shows the Chicago region. You can zoom in even closer and add street maps, getting you down to the  neighborhood level.

My goal is that people learn to use maps like these to tell map-stories that point to places where people need extra  help, and repeat often enough that people are actually motivated to provide the talent, dollars, ideas and other resources needed to create change where it may be needed.

Here's a Tweet showing how someone created a map showing Hispanic population density.


If you skim through past articles on this blog you'll find other data mapping platforms and you'll see many ways I've used maps to tell stories intended to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas of Chicago.

Here's another Tweet showing how you can focus in on a small area:



Browse feed of Tweets by benjancewicz and see how many are interacting with this platform and with each other on Twitter.

Create your own map stories and share them on social media. Help build the conversation.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Number of High Poverty Chicago Youth in Each Community Area - Change since 2011

In 2011 I produced a PDF report showing the number of Chicago youth, age 6-17, who were living in high poverty households in each community area.

This week I've received new information from the Social Impact Research Center at the Heartland Alliance, and have updated the presentation to show current numbers.

The map shown above is from the new report.  2011 numbers are shown in yellow and 2018 number in blue. This map shows the far west side where the number of high poverty youth in the Austin neighborhood has increased while in areas close to the Chicago LOOP the number has decreased.

Here's the full presentation which I've posted on Slideshare:



My goal is that people form study groups, planning groups and support groups in each community area and they use this data in an on-going effort to help build and sustain well-organized, non-school, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs in areas with a large number of kids living in poverty.

I'd be happy to spend time with such groups, helping them understand the data and the resources available to them on the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites.

In the report I indicated that the maps came from the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator which was created in 2008-09. I also said that I've not been able to update this since 2013 due to lack of funds and technology support.

The Program Locator still works and serves as a demonstration of the type of mapping portal needed to help people find existing tutor/mentor programs, understand the availability of such programs in different community areas, and understand who some of the assets are who should be supporting youth  in different community areas because they have facilities in those areas.

If you'd like to help, or want to meet with me,  introduce yourself on Twitter, LinkedIN or Facebook or email me at tutormentor 2 at earthlink dot net.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mapping Income Levels and Population Changes

Last week I found a City Lab article titled How Cities Are Divided By Income, Mapped , which uses ESRI story maps to show the income inequality in cities across the USA.

At the right is a screen shot of the ESRI story map.

For those who are concerned about these gaps, and the well-being of people living on the poverty and low-income side, these articles will add ammunition to your efforts.


Here's another map, that I learned about from my ChiHackNight network.  This shows population changes in US cities from 1990 to 2010. The graphic at the left is a screen shot showing the Chicago region. Green dots are cities with population gains and red and pink are cities that lost population.  Click on any dot and see the gain or loss.

For those studying poverty and income equality, as well as racism, education, violence, etc. the population changes  may add some additional information to your analysis.

For any activist, these articles will demonstrate ways to embed maps into stories, with the goal of helping you draw attention, resources and solutions to places where the maps show a need for extra support.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Understand Graduation Rate in Every State

The America's Promise Alliance hosts a map on its web site showing graduation rate data for every US state. Take a look.

Earlier today I posted an ESRI storymap showing places around the world where each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals needs to be addressed.

With that map, and this map, I said "Great work. Useful data." Then said "We need to look at this information at the block level, or at the zip code level" (not sure how this works in other countries).

The state and national level are too large. Within such boundaries are many places where there is much greater need than what the average shows, and other places doing far better.

The Education Trust Data Tool
Here's another map. This is shows inequality and funding gaps (2018) in school funding from state to state. States shaded green provide greater funding to schools serving high numbers of low income kids. States shaded pink  and red (Illinois) provide less funding to these students than to other schools in the state.  View article here and data tool here.

If you compare the different maps shown on this map you begin to see that areas with high poverty show up as places needing extra help.

Building the public will to provide that help is something the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (T/MI) have focused on since 1993.

Mapping UN's Sustainable Development Goals - ESRI Story map

At left is a screen shot from an ESRI story map that shows areas of concentration for each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Take a look.

These goals target the year 2030 for an achievement date and for the past year a growing effort has attempted to get more people involved.  I wrote about this on the Tutor/Mentor blog, here, and here.

I've been following the #SDGs on Twitter.


Last August I created this graphic, combining my Race-Poverty in US concept map with the SDGs graphic. My goal was to show that places in the US face some of the same issues, and that all the issues are interconnected and have poverty as a root cause, or as a primary result.

While I think the ESRI map is great, I feel that individual story maps need to be created for each of the 17 goals, and that these  maps need to focus on areas as small as a few blocks, in every country.  This would show areas in the US and Europe where people live in pockets of poverty, isolated from the wealth that surrounds them.

While we need a global mobilization, problems will only be solved at the local level and without maps it's hard to focus on all of these places, or know if resources are being provided to help people overcome their challenges.

I've been aggregating links to data-mapping platforms, and share that information via this blog, a concept map, and links in my web library.

I hope that in the near future I can find a site that if building a similar collection of links, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals.




Thursday, February 22, 2018

South Side Weekly (Chicago) - Event Map

Here's another example of effective  use of maps.  This is the South Side Weekly's Event Map

I encourage you to take a look at the Chicago tutor/mentor programs map that I created in 2016 (and the Program Locator, created in 2008 and the Program Locator search screen, created in 2004).  My maps are not showing programs as clearly as the South Side Weekly map shows event locations. 

Due to technical difficulties (and lack of money) the Program Locator has not been updated since 2013.

I keep searching for tech volunteers/partners (or donor/investors) to help me upgrade the map platforms the Tutor/Mentor Connection launched on line starting in 2004. 

Want to help? Contact me on Twitter @tutormentorteam or on Linkedin.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Building Political Power to Enact Gun Laws in America

Another school shooting tragedy has hit America and my social media feed is full of anger at elected representatives who have done nothing over the past 20 years to make America safe again. Below is a map I found today showing school shootings since 2013.

Associated Press map - find it here
I looked through my files and I've several maps showing shootings and gun violence in America. Below is a map from 2013, showing "Gun Deaths Since Sandy Hook"


Since the second map shows outlines of all 50 states you could do a count and see that 10 to 12 states have far fewer gun deaths and school shootings than other states.  If you did the political math this would mean 20 to 24 Senators (less than 25%) might firmly oppose gun legislation because it's not a big issue in their states.  If you added up the number of Representatives in the House from those states the percent would be far below 25% since these are low population states  (and it's likely that some of the gun violence is in the big cities in these states, which means their representatives should be pro gun law voters).

So what's the problem?  Why aren't elected representatives in these other states where there is a clear problem of gun violence, doing something to change this?

A few years ago I created a pdf presentation that showed how maps could be used in a campaign to get the needed votes in the state legislature to enact effective high-school drop-out prevention strategies.  You don't  need 100% of the votes. You need 51% (or maybe 61% to over-ride a veto).

That's true at the national level too.

I've posted dozens of article on the Tutor/Mentor blog that focus on planning and leadership and many include the graphic at the right, which is from a presentation titled "War on Poverty".

A similar process needs to grow in America, where the maps above are used and are filled in with information showing that the elected local and national representatives are voting to enact radical changes in American gun laws, for the welfare and safety of the American people.

When we have the needed votes, we'll get the laws we need.

Update 2/19/18 - NPR article shows gun legislation voting records for every House and Senate rep from all 50 states.  click here

Update 2/19/18 NY Times article - Thoughts and Prayers and N.R.A. Funding - click here

Update 2/19/18 - GunControlNow - this site is collecting information on state-by-state basis. Looking for volunteers to help. See info they have for Texas.

I'm on Twitter @tutormentorteam. I look forward to talking with you about the way I see maps being  used.

If you like what I write about and value the web library I host, please go to this link and send a small contribution. I'm paying all of my expenses from what I can raise.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Understanding DACA, Immigration and Importance to America

This is one of many interactive maps that can be found on the web site of the USC Center for Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

Browse this section of the Tutor/Mentor web library to find many articles related to law, poverty, racial justice, etc.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Chicago United for Equity - CPS equity maps

I attended an event last night titled "65/54 Brown v. Chicago: Race and Access in Education" which was held at the Hull House Museum near UIC in Chicago. The map below was shared by one of the speakers, Niketa Brar, a co-founder and executive director of Chicago United for Equity (CUE)

Link to interactive map - click here
The event description says "Sixty-four years after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) declared that separate was unequal, Chicago’s public schools remain segregated, and access to education continues to be out of reach." Panel members were passionate and full of data to support this claim and urged that anyone who cares, should take an active role.

The map on the CUE web site helps support this. It is one of the few maps I've found that show CPS school boundaries. You can zoom in to enlarge the maps. You can also run your mouse over the map and find data for each school, showing segregation rates, student gains and/or loss over past few years, and school utilization by community members.

Other speakers were Amanda Lewis, Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and Professor of African American Studies and Sociology at UIC and  David Stovall, a Professor of Education Policy Studies and African American Studies at UIC. I met Dave last year and continue to encourage him to put his research on a blog or web site.  The moderator was Cassandra McKay-Jackson, an associate professor, and the new director of the Master of Social Work program at Erikson Institute. 

Last night's session was recorded and once the video is available I will add it as a link to this article. Listening to the speakers is much more effective than me trying to paraphrase what they were saying.

As you look at the CUE map, look at map stories on this blog and on the Tutor/Mentor blog.  I feel that students, parents, volunteers and others could be using map platforms like the CUE site to tell stories, specific to areas as small as a city block or a CPS school neighborhood. Every time something happens that shows the inequity in the city, a story needs to be created. Every time something good happens, stories can be created.

This needs to be happening daily if we're going to get more people involved and build the political power needed to address the deeply implanted root causes of these problems. 

Do you value what I write about and the information I share. Visit this page and use the PayPal to send me a small contribution to help me continue this work. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Chicago Regional Housing Solutions Dashboard

This week's presentation at ChiHackNight described a planning tool developed by the Chicago Regional Planning Agency for Planning (CMAP). Take a look at the video, then look at the screen shots I've posted below.



The dashboard Elizabeth Scott is describing can be found at https://www.regionalhousingsolutions.org/

Enter a community name, or Chicago community area name in the search bar on the middle of the page.  I entered Rogers Park, on the far North side of Chicago.

This is a screen shot of that results.  In the video Elizabeth looks at a different community. You can compare the two, or search for other communities.

Note the two rows of colored boxes to the left of the map. These are the eight issue areas CMAP data focuses on. The map is color-coded for these issues. 

Click on the name ROGERS PARK in the pop-up box on the map above, and you get a screen shot that I show at the right.  This provides an overview of what housing issues face Rogers Park.

This view also shows a list of other communities in the region, including community areas of Chicago, which profile the same way. Each of these communities could be a resource for all others.

If you scroll down on this page you come to a list of the eight issues. Click on any one of them and this type of screen opens, with a discussion of that issue and some suggestions of possible solutions.  I don't know if this section focuses on the specific community area in my search, e.g. Rogers Park, but as I find out, I'll update this post.

This is a robust and creative tool and people in every community of the Chicago region (and other places) should spend time getting to know its features. Also watch for updates showing how people are using this and how CMAP is adding new features to enhance its use.

Why is this important to Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC? I've been trying since 1993 to create a map platform that would support policy makers in similar ways that the CMAP platform is  doing. At the right is a map view created by the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator.

So far the CMAP platform does not include poverty overlays, or other indicators such as poorly performing school, concentrations of ex-offenders, health disparities, violence, etc. 

It also does not include overlays of service providers and assets. It may in the future.

Browse this site to see  maps I've created using the Program Locator, and other maps created using ARC GIS.  Browse this section of the Tutor/Mentor blog, to see more map-views created using the Program Locator.

Here's a pdf created to show how the Tutor/Mentor Program locator can be used to make your own maps.  And, here's a wiki page where I show the goal of using maps, starting in 1993.

While I'm looking for partners who would help update the Program Locator that was built for me in 2008-09, I also point to other data indicator platforms, that people can use to create map stories that focus attention and resources on areas with high poverty. 

As you look at the features in the CMAP platform, and how they support discussions of housing issues, imagine a parallel platform supporting how communities discuss the needs of kids and the steps that would lead to better schools and a better non-school support system helping kids to careers.

I can be reached on these social media platforms or you can introduce yourself with a comment on this blog.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Too Many School Districts in Illinois? Look at maps on BGA web site

Map from BGA web site
In January 2018 I posted an article, showing a Better Government Association (BGA) story about police shootings in Cook County, Illinois.

The map at the left is from another story, that focuses on the number of school districts in Illinois. Take a look at the story, and the maps.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Police Shootings in Cook County, IL - Interactive Map

BetterGov.org web site
The Better Government Association and WBEZ have been following police shootings in Cook County suburbs and reporting this in a TakingCover series of articles. Their focus is on "How Cops Escape Discipline For Shootings in Suburban Illinois."

One data resource is an interactive map that shows locations of shootings and provides details. The screen shot at the left was created by zooming into one part of the map then clicking on one of the yellow dots. In this case, I'm looking at the South Suburban area around Harvey, IL.

While I'm interested in this topic, I'm more interested in helping people in communities with high poverty, poorly performing schools, too few jobs, and too much violence and police shootings, have a system of youth and family support services that help shrink the negatives by creating more paths to high school graduation, jobs and careers.

More specifically, I've been trying to help well organized, mentor-rich, non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in high poverty areas. Site based programs could be operating in faith based buildings, colleges, business sites and/or free standing locations. They could be hosted at public or private schools. I led one of these from 1975 to 2011, serving youth in the Cabrini-Green area of Chicago.

For this to happen, someone needs to take the lead, then begin mobilizing others, who will help start and sustain needed programs.  Using maps in stories that are presented via social media, YouTube, face-to-face presentations, etc. is one strategy to help do this. I've been piloting this for 24 years and keep trying to motivate others to adopt the same tactics.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 to help non-school, tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in the Chicago region and started a survey in 1994 to locate existing non-school tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region. I've been plotting this information on maps and sharing it via an Interactive Program Locator, a web list, and the map shown at this link

Since 1994 I've been using the database and maps to tell stories and generate public interest and involvement aimed at drawing needed resources to existing programs, or helping new programs form where more are needed.

At the left is a map view created by zooming into my map platform, to show the same area as the BetterGov.org map.  In this case, I don't find any organized volunteer-based tutor or mentor programs in the area.  That means people in this area are going to need to step forward and create programs,  hopefully borrowing from the ideas on my web sites. Here's a section focused on "how to start a program".

Lack of programs in the South Suburbs is not new information to me. In 2007 I hosted a Tutor/Mentor Conference in this area and this article show our goal of mobilizing people to help programs grow.

At the right is a map-story created in the 1990s before I had access to the Internet for sharing these stories.  Click on the image to enlarge. Then  you can see a Chicago SunTimes story of a shooting in Chicago and a map that shows where the shooting took place. You can also see a table showing existing tutor/mentor programs in the area, with additional tables showing some businesses in the same area. Finally there's a narrative that ends up calling on assets, political leaders, media and others to help support existing programs in the map area, or help new programs form.

I've been repeating this type of map-story for many years, but my voice is too small, and I'm an outsider in these neighborhoods. If youth, volunteers, parents and community leaders learn to create these stories, and share them weekly, they can begin to draw together a coalition of people who will take the lead on building and sustaining needed programs.

view presentation

In 2008 the T/MC began building an interactive Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, with layers of information that could be used to create a story showing why help was needed, what tutor/mentor programs were in the area, if any, and what banks, hospitals, colleges, faith groups, etc were also in the area and should be taking a role to help build and sustain great programs.

This link points to a presentation showing "how to  use" the program locator to create map stories. 

Since mid 2011 the T/MC has been operated by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and I've not had the resources to continue updating the Program Locator platform. Thus, it's out of date.  However, it's a model for what could be created in Chicago or other cities, and how it could be used to create map stories that draw attention and resources to neighborhoods where bad things happen too often.

Furthermore, I've demonstrated on this blog, and many others on this site, that you can use data platforms created by others, such as the BGA and WBEZ to create map views which you then edit using Power Point or other tools to add additional information that shows why people should be helping tutor/mentor programs grow in this map-area.

While there are many examples of map-stories on this blog, here's a Nov. 2017 article that shows how one person is creating map stories and sharing them regularly on Twitter. 

Others can, and should, do the same. If I begin to see more map-stories in Tweets and Facebook posts that focus on helping build needed youth and family support programs in different parts of Chicago, the US or the world, I'll know that some people have read this story, or forwarded it to others.

Thank you to Joel Inwood of the ChiHackNight group for bringing the BetterGov.org map to my attention.