Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Back from New Orleans....again

I left New Orleans on Oct 23rd -- after being done with mapping the Lower Ninth Ward. Altogether with Gentilly , that's about 10 square miles of the city that's been mapped.

I was back in NOLA again last weekend to take part in a Neighborhood Leadership Forum on Data Collection and Information Systems Management. I was one of the experts on the panel and decided to add something more than talk numbers and statistics.

The most sophisticated data-collection system is a person, and the reliable and robust information system is people working together in an organized way. So for my opening presentation, I played a video. A Dartmouth graduate student (and NOLA native) Sarah G. Fischer created it from mapping photos, and she added some New Orleans songs to it.

She created it independently, and I prepared my presentation by adapting my remarks to the sequence of images and audio. I think the people side of mapping gets to the heart of what this project is attempting to do.

There's an opportunity to map more neighborhoods, and I'm now considering what can be mapped in December during winter break. It depends on the number of volunteers.


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