Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Where the sidewalk ends.

July 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Jane Jacobs is a name that is part of the toolkit of every North American urban planner. The woman who was known for her bold advocacy of short blocks, mixed use communities, and the importance of sidewalks. She stated that sidewalks served three purposes: safety, human contact and assimilation of children. Like Jacobs, the City of Edmonton I advocates the importance of walkable communities and seeks to achieve it in the City.

Walkable Edmonton is an initiative from the City of Edmonton in the Canadian province of Alberta, that seeks to encourage walkability in Edmonton communities and promote pedestrian mode of transport. A key project of the initiative is the  ‘Communities on Foot Map series’ that is composed of a number of Community Walking Maps. The creation of Community Walking Maps follows the belief that people will be more likely to take to the sidewalks if they are given a pedestrian walking guide to their community.

Mill Creek Walking Map

Mill Creek Community Walking Map

The maps themselves are produced by workshops that engage community volunteers to identify walking routes to be created into maps to be disseminated to the community. Routes are of varying difficulty and length, the distance of each route is conveniently provided through a colour coded legend. Points of interest (i.e. cafes, convenience stores, schools etc) have been placed on each map as well.

To learn more about the Communities on Foot map series, click here.

Sana Razvi, Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Beware: Mapping is Contagious!

March 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Crime mapping is sweeping the nation with so many communities looking towards mapping crimes to keep the public informed and the city safe.  Since the inception of CrimeView Community, as many as 40 states and hundreds of communities have taken the initiative to map the crime that occurs in their towns.  The ability to give residents information about the safety of their town allows them to make more conscious and safer decisions and also permits the police force to recognize crime-prone areas and to handle these areas accordingly.

To read more about the spread of crime mapping, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

The Externalities of Mapping…

March 3, 2009 Leave a comment


The Economic Development department and GIS/Technology department of Frederick County, Maryland have joined forces to map out the major business parks and retails centers located in their county.  While it is advantageous to have this information for their personal use, the main focus of the map is too provide valuable information to possible businesses looking to do business in their area.  The ability for businesses to have access to valuable information regarding zoning, lot sizes, and availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week will give Frederick County the leading edge against its neighboring counties when trying to lure businesses in.  The county hopes to provide an easy and seamless transition for any businesses looking to expand or relocate to the Frederick County area through its new and innovative interactive map.

For more information about the initiatives of Frederick County, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping and the Rural US…

February 26, 2009 Leave a comment

This piece from the New York Times helps to justify the $350 million portion of the stimulus bill slated to map all the areas of the United States with less than adequate accessbility to internet broadband service.  While this information may be easily accessible by asking internet providers where their respective services extend to, the companies themselves may not be so willing to volunteer that information.  Either way, it seems that internet accessbility is a major component of education availability and communication accessibility in the stimulus bill.

For more information, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

In an emergency?! Mapping can help…

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

The local government of Franklin County, Ohio has been hard at work pinpointing every single important detail of their county on a map including individual building in a complex, fire hydrants, and bus routes.  Why all the trouble, you ask?  This initiative, set to debut this summer, is supposed to aid ambulances and fire trucks in locating and getting where they need to go to in the least amount of time.  They believe the county characteristics on a map will help aid them in this goal.  This initiative will not only aid EMTs or firefighters but the county government will also be able to use the map and will assist them in calculating such things as how much salt is required during snow storms or planning new routes for the bus system.

For more information about the initiatives of Franklin County, read here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping and the Census…

February 23, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s almost that time of the decade again!!!  The U.S. Census Bureau is getting its army of workers together again to count every single person that currently lives in the United States and in the state of South Carolina, they have plenty to gain from this round of counts.  South Carolina has seen an upswing in their population and if they are able to account for every single resident in their state they may be able to grad one more seat in the House of Representatives.  The Census is extremely important to mapping and GIS as it provides us with invaluable data that can be portrayed visually into maps and visualize various statistics.

To read more about the Census and its value to South Carolina, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping and the Disabled…

February 12, 2009 Leave a comment

The Stewartry Coalition of Disabled People, located in England, is putting out the word that they are trying to get disabled people together to map areas of the town that are proving to be obstacles for disabled people to get around.  They are asking for residents to identify certain areas or problems in the city so that they can submit them to the road department and other departments to have them rectified so that disabled persons can move around more easily.  They are also looking at mapping businesses that have both easy and difficult access ways so that these very residents can plan their errands.

To read more about this project, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

The Mapping Case for the Stimulus Plan…

February 10, 2009 Leave a comment


It seems that GIS and mapping was/is deep in the agenda of one of the stimulus plans.  In a effort to create a national map for use by many of the government department, GIS will play a major role in accomplishing this project.  The map will help provide a central source of information should and when a disaster occurs.  This effort will help save time as information will now be able to be accessed through one main database instead of having to figure out where the best information can be retrieved.  This effort will also help provide the millions of jobs that have been suggested to be created by this stimulus plan.  It many ways, it seems that GIS and community mapping is the way to go…

For more information, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping and the Middle East…

February 5, 2009 Leave a comment

A small excerpt in the opinion section of the New York Times yesterday discusses how a community map was created from a leaked database managed by the Israeli government to keep track of important events that have occurred regarding the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  The database was created to be able to keep the government up-to-date on the happenings of what is going on in the West Bank including violence against these settlements from Palestinians.  With this information, a citizen who took special interest in this database, spatially located the information from the database and put together an interactive map displaying the history and characteristics of each Jewish settlement.

To read more about this news story, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Crime and Mapping…

February 3, 2009 1 comment


If you’ve ever scoured the newspapers to see what type of crimes have happened in your towns, you’ll be interested to see what some other towns have done to provide the information to its residents.  The East Palo Alto Police Department has begun using interactive maps (via to visualize where crimes have been taking place across their municipality.  Residents can now keep up to date with what is going on in their towns through community mapping…

If you are interested in reading further, click here.  Or if you are interested in seeing some actual crime report sites, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.