Poster Presentation C Thursday, 5:00 6:00 pm C Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit Hall

Action Research Examples: GIS for Community Groups

Carol Gersmehl, Andras Bartal
Macalester College
Department of Geography
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105

In fall 2000, our Advanced Cartography class worked on projects requested by four St. Paul community organizations. The requests focused on use of Ramsey County "parcel data" (from tax accessor and public works departments) to answer questions raised by the community groups. Thus, the students were allowed to explore this elaborate and detailed (large-scale) dataset, and each community group received maps that focused on particular community questions. One of learning opportunity for students was to better understand how folks in community groups look at maps and also what sorts of questions are important to individuals in community groups. In addition, community groups could better understand which questions might be answered fairly easily using the "parcel data" and which questions were not easily answered using that dataset. Our poster will show examples of maps produced for the community groups and will provide short summaries of what students learned via this interaction with community groups via use of GIS.