Community Geography: GIS in Action

Laura S Feaster, Kim English

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Community Geography: GIS in Action is a great way for middle and high school students and active citizens to use geographical information systems (GIS) to make a difference in your own communities. With this book, you can integrate learning, GIS technology, and real-world experiences. Community Geography: GIS in Action contains real case studies to inspire you, hands-on exercises to help you hone your GIS skills, and practical tips for undertaking GIS projects on your own.

Pioneering Case Studies:
Seven case studies describe innovative community GIS projects undertaken by students, teachers, and community partners in the United States and Canada.
The case studies encompass issues that matter – discovering and mapping landfills in residential neighborhoods, helping police to monitor hot spots of criminal activity, taking inventories of community trees, and more.
Step-by-Step GIS Exercises:
The companion exercise for each case study offers hands-on experience with data and GIS analysis using ESRI ® ArcView ® 3.x software.
Well-placed screen shots provide visual references to the software.
A data CD–ROM included with the book contains all the data and ArcView 3.x projects necessary to complete the exercises. Runs on Microsoft ® Windows ® and Macintosh ® platforms.
Note: A licensed copy of ArcView 3.x software is required to complete the exercises.
On Your Own Sections:
These special sections in each module detail how to approach a similar project in your community.
Tips and suggestions on the GIS inquiry process provide a framework for your own GIS project.
Information on how to build community partnerships, acquire geographic data, perform analyses, and present results is also included.
Note: A licensed copy of ArcView 3.x software is required to complete the projects.


Table of Contents:

Part 1: Community mapping projects
Module 1: The GIS basics
Exercise: Explore and label community features data for a city visitors map
Module 2: Reducing crime
Case study: Deciding where to increase neighborhood police patrols
Exercise: Geocode crime data to map and analyze robbery hotspots
On your own
Module 3: A war on weeds
Case study: Mapping noxious weeds
Exercise: Use GIS to map a leafy spurge infestation and compute its area
On your own
Module 4: Tracking water quality
Case study: Monitoring seasonal changes on the Turtle River
Exercise: Analyze Turtle River data to identify locations for fish habitat restoration
On your own
Module 5: Investigating point-source pollution
Case study: Identifying potentially harmful landfills
Exercise: Map, query, and analyze neighborhood data to identify high-risk landfills
On your own
Module 6: Getting kids to school
Case study: Who walks and who takes the bus?
Exercise: Use buffers to identify eligible school bus riders
On your own
Module 7: Managing the community forest
Case study: One, two, tree: taking a tree inventory
Exercise: Map and query a tree inventory to find hazardous trees
On your own
Module 8: Selecting the right location
Case study: Using site analysis to develop a wildlife area management plan
Exercise: Perform site selection for a state wildlife area
On your own
Part 2: On your own: project planning
Ask a geographic question
Acquire geographic resources
Explore geographic data
Analyze geographic information
Act on geographic knowledge