Syracuse Community Geography Spring 2015 Course
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Interested in community-based participatory research methods? In this course you will examine how and why grassroots organizations utilize GIS and spatial analyses, as well as the origins, ethics, and challenges of participatory research with GIS.
This course explores such questions as:
• How do grassroots community organizations and movements use maps to support their work?
• How is a geographic perspective helpful for understanding community dynamics and challenges?
• Can geographic information systems (GIS) be qualitative?
• How might the use of GIS be both marginalizing and empowering to different segments of the community?
• Just who is “the community?”
We will examine the history, evolution, theory and practice of community mapping and Public Participation Geographic Information Systems and explore themes in community mapping and PPGIS including food security, urban revitalization, transportation, and health disparities. We will also discuss the notion of public scholarship and the contributions of institutions of higher education to the PPGIS movement.
The course draws on a number of different texts, journal articles, and websites for class readings. Assignments include a mix of practical exercises, critical analyses and discussions of assigned readings, and midterm exam. Students work cooperatively on a final project with a community partner. No GIS experience is required – students are provided a brief introduction to ArcGIS.