Community Mapping Background Information (2008)

The Community Mapping Data Warehouse is funded by a Learning and Teaching Centre Grant entitled A Vertical Integration of Community Green Mapping Course Material. The following is material from our proposal.

Our challenge is to provide University of Victoria students with the skills for and experience of participating in real-world sustainable development. Our strategy is simple; let them, through their coursework, experience data collection, research, and technical processing that results in maps (including web-based maps) that can be used by student groups, departments and administration to affect positive change on their own campus.

Currently we only introduce community mapping in a few lectures and do basic class exercises on mapping. The full potential of mapping is never explored, since the data collected is discarded. What is needed is a vertically integrated approach that sees the data which is collected at the basic course processed in a second course, manipulated with technical tools in a third, and published in a fourth. In this way, a set of independent laboratory exercises will be linked to form a stream of information processing flow.

Said another way, the raw data will be gathered, filter and prepared, and eventually fed into the larger UVic Community Green Map system. By developing an integrated system, students will get a chance to see that their information is processed and fed into a real-world policy document. A secondary outcome will be the involvement of students in community mapping projects outside the university.

The path from research question to raw data (community mapping exercises) to processing (statistics, geo-coding) to technical presentation (GIS, cartography) is complex, but rewarding!

The LTC grant will result in the building of a data warehouse (this website) and lectures and laboratory modules that will "check out and check in" data from the warehouse.

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