Sunday, May 30, 2010

Selected final maps from the 2010 GIS Workshop

Several maps were produced by students of the 2010 GIS Workshop at Ball State University.  I've compiled a selection of these maps into a lower resolution PDF, see below.

City of Muncie Strays in 2009:

City of Muncie Strays in 2009 by Census Tract:

Muncie and Age Over 65 Mobility:

Muncie Predatory Lending and Poverty:

Muncie Childcare Services and Poverty:

Friday, May 28, 2010

GIS Workshop makes front page news at The Star Press

At the conclusion of GIS Workshop (GEOG448/548), each student team presented their findings to community partners.  While all the student teams created products that will greatly assist their community partners, the animal shelter project, in particular, captured the attention of the community partners.  The Star Press, drawing on recent concerns about the operation of the animal shelter, ran a story about the mapping project.

An excerpt:

It's raining stray cats and dogs in Muncie, and there doesn't seem to be any way to stop it.

That's what mapping by Ball State University shows. It also shows the problem is worse in south Muncie, including the Industry Neighborhood.

"There's certainly a south-of-the river phenomenon," said Matt Wilson, an assistant professor of geography and emerging media expert.

But he advises against finger-pointing.

"This is a social justice issue," said Wilson, who predicts the spread of stray animals will only become magnified unless the city tackles issues like unemployment and poverty. [Click for more.]

In my interview at TSP, I discussed the importance of these kinds of collaborations, particularly in the context of the geographical imaginations of Muncie's 'south side' on the part of BSU students and faculty.

Great work, students and community partners!  I'm certainly looking forward to future collaborations in GEOG448/548.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Critical GIS in the classroom

For one academic year, I've attempted a different type of approach to an introductory course in GIS, drawing on various curricular strategies of Nadine Schuurman, Sarah Elwood, Francis Harvey, and Meghan Cope.  In this course, students work through introductory technical skills, while simultaneously reading/writing about and discussing the GIS & Society tradition.  In this brief post, I'm asking students who participated in this introductory GIS course to reflect on what it means to practice 'critical GIS'.