Claudia Rhoden 10/9/18
Mapping or GIS is a way of displaying data. GIS stands for Geographic Information System. Mapping or GIS displays data that can allow us to ask questions, analyze, make decisions, help us make our decisions more precise and efficient. and could really benefit us in real life dilemmas. Once you understand the meaning of GIS, you can conclude that location is very important in people’s lives.
Everybody has used GIS at some point, even if they don’t even know it. For example, have you ever used google maps to help get to your destination? If so, you’re were using a form of GIS. Another example would be tourist coming from other countries to visit New York City. The New York City transit maps tell them where to go throughout all of New York City. This is an example of GIS because the map has lines of different colors showing the different train lines, it has little dots showing where the train stop, and they also have which train transfers to the other. This shows how mapping can improve and help our everyday lives and makes decisions more quick and accurate. One last example of how important location is while making decisions is hospitals. Based off information about a neighborhood, maybe the reason why some buildings are built. If people see that a lot of people are sick in a certain area, maybe the reason why a hospital is built in the middle of that area. If a bunch of crime is going on, they might put police cars on the corner on 24 hour duty to look out.
On the courses website on the DH Project sign up sheet, there are several links of mapping based off different situations. While looking at some of the examples she provided for us, I realized that mapping isn’t only used for decision making, it can also be used for shared experiences. One example of GIS mapping she provided was a site with a project called, https://www.queeringthemap.com/(Queering the Map) . On this site, you can see that this GIS experience is different. On this site, people share their most awkward or gay experiences. On the map, there’s little pinpoint locations, when you click on the points, a description shows up of what happened to that person at that location. Based on reading the “about” page, I can tell that this site is trying to accomplish the goal of making people feel like they’re not alone and that they can feel free to share their experiences without any judgemental comments. It seems like the main target audience for this are gay and lesbian people. I can tell because most of the descriptions on the pinpoint were gay experiences. The goal of their site was a success in my opinion. I think it was a success because they’re a lot of submissions on the map which means people are using it, and also based on the shared experiences, you can tell that some of the people felt open based on what they wrote.
No matter what kind of information you display on a map, you can definitely frame information in certain ways to come up with conclusions. Going back to the site I mentioned in the previous paragraph, if you look at New York City, you can see that most pinpoints are made in the Manhattan. According to that kind of information, a person might conclude that a lot of gay people or a bunch of gay activity happens in Manhattan rather than the other 5 boroughs. This can also limit us to the research we can do because we’re so focused on what our mind what’s us to conclude rather than getting the message or purpose of the site.
Mapping can help us make better decisions in life, but not only could it help us make better decisions, it can help a group of people bond socially by sharing their experiences and the location in which they experienced it. GIS allows us to analyze, ask questions, and put data together. I would recommend mapping to anyone because it makes life easier and you also don’t have to be an expert to use the Geographic Information System.