Thursday, January 18, 2007

New Hampshire: Culture Shock?

New Hampshire feels a bit different after several weeks in New Orleans. And it's more than my need to shovel snow from the path to my front door (above)...

After waking up every day with making progress immediately ("how much can we map in Gentilly today?"), now I have to wait. I spend time each day explaining what we did and preparing for the next steps.

The server is back up, and the recent mapping we did from December 7 -21 is visible again. It's good news that we didn't lose any data. So what we mapped in "Pontilly" (Pontchartrain Park & Gentilly Woods) is up, as well as the recent mapping in Lower Gentilly, Edgewood Park, and St. Roch Bend. Everything else is either listed as "missing", or it's months old.

We have everything else (about 66% of Gentilly) that we mapped from December 28-January 9, but we're looking for ways to make the inputting go faster and easier. I've joked with some of the graduate students who came down with me about having a data-input party, and they seem up for it.

Also, I'm working out how to replicate this more easily in other parts of the city.

The biggest challenge will be shifting the conversation a bit about our mapping. Mapping all of Gentilly was quite a feat unto itself, but the point never was to just map it once. Before we even started mapping, I knew a significant challenge would be changes in the most local level of rebuilding. The point of the project is the model (or process) for updating the map in a fairly quick, accurate, and sustainable way. Until then, the map will just be a snapshot of December 7, 2006 - January 9, 2007. And there'll be a certain percentage of Gentilly properties that need a color-code update each day that passes.

Unfortunately, New Orleans seems far away to many people here, relative to how I experience it. I'm hungry for a faster pace, but right now I must slow down. I'm back in a world where fewer people know how long residents in New Orleans have been waiting. And I have to convey that immediacy and lead the next steps from here, so we can move swiftly in New Orleans in the coming weeks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do the different colors on the Gentilly map stand for? For example, when an address is typed it, all the addresses in a particular block are listed and color coded with a grey, red, green, yellow or blue dot. What does those colors stand for?

4:48 PM  

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