Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Have you looked at these Maps?

I've been writing this blog since 2005 and hundreds of stories include maps, intending to show where youth tutor/mentor programs are most needed and where existing site-based programs are located.

1993 T/MC Plan
This is part of a strategy launched in 1993 to collect information about existing tutor/mentor programs, and share that in on-going efforts to attract talent and dollars to each program, to help every program constantly improve their impact on the lives of kids and volunteers who participate.

On the left side of this blog are tags that I've applied to each article written to help you search for different topics.  If you look in the maps, media and violence sections you'll find stories with a constant use of map.

However, this is not the only resource where the Tutor/Mentor Connection (1993-present) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (2011-present) have been sharing information about using maps.  I also host the site, which is more focused on showing  uses of maps and visualization tools than is this blog.

Below I'm highlighting a few recent stories.

This is a map view showing youth in poverty in the Chicago region, created using the Community Commons platform. See it in this article.

This map is from an article posted on March 13, showing updates to the Chicago Health Atlas web site.  View it here.

This map is part of an ambitions new plan, titled Resilient Chicago, to create a Chicago "where residents, neighborhoods, institutions, corporations, and government agencies are successfully connected to each other in the pursuit of economic opportunity, safety, equity, and sustainability."  Click here to view the article.

This map is from the Field Foundation of Illinois web site. It would be great if every foundation were using similar maps (or the same maps) to guide their giving decisions, and to assure a more equal distribution of resources to all parts of the city and to suburban areas with growing levels of poverty.  See article.

The above maps are from recent articles. This map, showing the 34th State Legislative District, was created in 2008, as part of the first collection of maps created by Mike Traken, who was hired after the Tutor/Mentor Connection received a $50,000 anonymous donation to rebuild our mapping capacity.  You can see this article at this link.

Mike used donated ESRI GIS mapping software to create a variety of sophisticated maps, which he then put into blog stories. He did this until early 2011, when we finally ran out of money and had to take him off the payroll.  He created this Map Gallery to show maps he had created.

We used half of that grant to create an interactive mapping platform, where anyone could create map stories, based on the same data and logic that Mike was using. Below is just one map created since then.

You can see this map in this story and you can find many other maps created since 2009 using the Program Locator, on this blog and the MappingforJustice blog.

As I said above, we ran out of money to keep investing in the mapping in 2010 and 11, due to the depression that hit the financial markets. This also led to the separation of the Tutor/Mentor Connection from the Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program, where it had been born in 1992 at the same time that the CC program was launched.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to continue the T/MC in Chicago and try to share it in other cities where there were large concentrations of people living in poverty.  Since then I've not found partners, volunteers or resources to update the platform, collect the program data, or do the outreach needed to teach people to use it to create their own maps.

However, I've kept the platform on line as a model and template that could be used to build a new version, using newer coding and GIS technology than we had in 2008.  If you're reading this and want to know more, browse through the articles on these blogs, visit this page on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site or reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

It costs me $100 a month to keep the Program Locator on-line. This is one of many expenses I've been paying, drawing from my own savings, and a small pool of contributions. If you'd like to help, click here, and send your own support. 

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