Neighborhoods are vaguely defined, localized regions that share similar characteristics. They are most often defined, delineated, and named by the citizens that inhabit them rather than municipal government or commercial agencies. The names of these neighborhoods play an important role as a basis for community and sociodemographic identity, geographic communication, and historical context.
This research will develop a foundational tool for understanding how civic technologies are used and how information inequalities manifest in a city. User data from new civic technologies that reveal inequalities in the information environments of citizens has only recently become available. Since a large portion of data is demographically or geospatially biased due to varying human-data relationships, computational social scientists have used data modeling and algorithmic techniques to adjust the data and remove biases during data-processing.
To understand issues about information accessibility within communities, research studies have examined human, social, and technical factors and contexts by taking a socio-technical view. While this view provides a profound understanding of how people seek, use, and access information, this approach tends to overlook the impact of the larger structures of information landscapes that shape people’s access to information.
Urban renewal was a national initiative from the 1960s through 70s aimed at improving so-called “blighted” areas, and resulted in the displacement of many vibrant communities. While the underlying mechanisms of urban renewal have been examined, there have been very few data-driven, evidence-based studies that take into account the histories and interests of former residents. The “Human Face of Big Data” project started as a digital curation effort to design and develop a web-based, big data platform that provides insights and analytics into the mechanisms of this process.
Computational Archival Science (CAS) has been proposed as a trans-disciplinary field that combines computational and archival thinking. To provide grounded evidence, a foundational paper explored eight initial themes that constitute potential building blocks. In order for a CAS community to emerge, further studies are needed to test this framework. While the foundational paper for CAS provides a conceptual and theoretical basis of this new field, there is still a need to articulate useful guidelines and checkpoints that validate a CAS research agenda.
The Cycle Atlanta project aims at creating sensor systems that allow a bike to "see" its environment and collect data as a participatory effort so that we can help the City of Atlanta to make informed decisions about biking infrastructures. Specifically, a sensor box equipped with sonars, lidars, PM sensors, gas sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer, and others was developed to detect environmental factors that can give rise to cyclists' stress level. I participated in this project as a Data Science for Social Good (Atlanta's DSSG) Summer fellow in 2017.
Defining neighborhood boundaries within a city is a complex and often subjective task. Neighborhoods boundaries are defined by the people that visit and live in the region, and activities that occur within those boundaries. Depending on the individual or group activity being conducted, these boundaries can change substantially. Transportation and human mobility patterns offer a novel basis on which to explore and delineate neighborhoods.
"Poverty maps" are designed to simultaneously display the spatial distribution of welfare and different dimensions of poverty determinants. The plotting of such information on maps heavily relies on data that is collected through infrequent national household surveys and censuses. However, due to the high cost associated with this type of data collection process, poverty maps are often inaccurate in capturing the current deprivation status.
This project aims to build a map-based platform that presents historical documents of the nation-wide, urban renewal project in 1960's and 70's and to provide easy-to-use interfaces that can be used by former residents, archivists, researchers, and citizens. Ultimately, this platform aims to reconstruct a virtual neighborhood where people can share their memories by creating social networks of former residents.
Over the past four years, teams of archivists have digitized portions of National Archives RG195: General Records of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation [HOLC]. The records include surveys, memorandums, and maps of American neighborhoods in the 1930’s. Now that the records are available digitally, students and faculty members are working to curate the collection and “data-fy” the information contained within.