Mapping neighborhoods to match and create neighborhood opportunities: the Community Maps Program

The Esri Community Maps Program offers geographic information system (GIS) users throughout the world the opportunity to partner together to build effective, accurate, and freely available online basemaps that anyone can use.

The Community Maps Editor is now in public beta release.  During this time, users are invited to start using the app to enhance special areas of interest within their community.  It is possible to identify 1-2 small AOIs that are important to one’s local community (e.g. local park or recreation area, high school campus, sports stadium, etc.) and then check out how they appear in the current Esri basemaps (and imagery).  If there were important features that are missing in the map, or existing features could be significantly improved, then it would be easy and beneficial to use the app to enhance the map.

The analysis of the data through the geographic information system (GIS) software also allows the analysis of phenomenological neighborhoods—neighborhoods as defined by respondents. This Resident-defined Neighborhood Mapping methodology permits us to analyze neighborhoods as the respondents outlined them, not as they were preconceived by someone outside the neighborhood. It drives to believe that this new methodology may prove useful in advancing the field of neighborhood research by detecting neighborhood-level changes that traditional methods may miss.

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