Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Changing Demographics of Chicago Children

During a Public Policy Forum hosted in Chicago on 1/24/07, maps were used to show the changing population trends and their implications for future services. The research was created by the Chapin Hall Center for Children.

The T/MC has used maps for many years to show poverty demographics and locations of poorly performing schools as an indicator of need for tutor/mentor programs. The T/MC Program Locator includes a Map Gallery, and a searchable database that visitors can use to shop for programs in different parts of the Chicago region.

However, we've also built a GIS links library, with links to different organizations in the Chicago region and nationally who are using maps to create a better understanding of poverty as the root cause of many other social issues.

During the meeting today I invited the 300-plus participants to use the GIS links on our web site as a resource in their own planning and networking. In addition, I invited them to add additional links, showing other sites that use maps to provide a spatial understanding of important social issues.

I also invited people to tell share information about forums where people are using maps to share information, network and collaborate, so that all children in the Chicago region have equal opportunities for an education and a life out of poverty.

Finally, if you know of people who blog the issues that were discussed in today's forum, add your link to the T/MC links library or introduce this resource in the comments section below.

If we build a network of Chicago area and national organizations using maps to make better decisions, then the next step is to create blog-exchanges at strategic times throughout the year, so we can draw a growing number of people together to look at this information, reflect on it, and use it to do more to help kids living in poverty neighborhoods.


Evan Thomas Paul said...

The Orton Family Foundation (at has lots of good tools for using maps in public deliberation.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thank you. I visited the site and introduced myself. They focus on using GIS for land use analysis, which is how most people use GIS.

However, they also focus on innovation. I invited them to add their link to the T/MC site. If you know of others, please introduce them.