Internet mapping is a powerful communication tool. Whether purchasing a house, siting a new business, finding the location of a community service, or figuring out the best route through traffic, thinking and working geographically improves the decision making process. GIS software empowers individuals and organizations to create maps, integrate information, visualize scenarios, present powerful ideas, and develop effective solutions.
While the possibility of using computerized neighborhood-level data for community-building purposes is a very recent development, the number of actual applications is growing rapidly. New technology has allowed users to do something that simply would not have been feasible before.
The Center for Urban Studies has a number of ongoing efforts designed to use data and the technology of GIS to build community (link to Community Indicators Research Inititaive). Our Interactive Mapping section is designed to demonstrate, through a limited set of basic examples, the power of this technology. We plan to add data layers and themes to the system as we develop. We will also report on our efforts through our Indicators section.