Session: Mapping Community Violence (and Ways to Stop It): Free Geographic Information Science (GIS) Software for Social Work Research (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

64 Mapping Community Violence (and Ways to Stop It): Free Geographic Information Science (GIS) Software for Social Work Research

Friday, January 18, 2019: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Golden Gate 4, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Sustainable Development, Urbanization, and Environmental Justice (SDU&E)
Richard Smith, PhD, Wayne State University, Dennis Kao, PhD, California State University, Fullerton, Kyeongmo Kim, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University and Nikita Buckhoy, MSW, Wayne State University
Social science has documented ways that community violence is a function of unequal distribution of resources across an urban landscape. Since the days of the London poverty surveys and Settlements, social workers have been using maps as a key analytic tool in a community assessment. Applications for mapping include finding optimal locations for services, outreach or policy change. In recent times, the social indicators movement has led to networks of professionals and researchers in different communities to collaborate and exchange ideas on managing information about place. These tools have been essential to working towards sustainable development and environmental justice. While some social workers may also be trained geographers, often we have only the time to learn the most basic concepts about geographic information science (GIS). The purpose of this workshop is to expose researchers to intuitive web based and desktop solutions for analysis that may be used for advocacy, community assessment, evaluation, classroom use, or research. The first part of the workshop will show users the latest sources for online mapping and data such as ESRI's ArcGIS Online and Socrata's open data portal. These data portals include information about crime and population data. These portals allow users to visualize data and save maps on their own website, or download data for use by a desktop application. Users may also stream the data into their desktop software (e.g., MS Excel, R, Tableau Public, QGIS) so that the map updates automatically as the data in the cloud updates. As an example, one presenter will show how to map environmental hazards of residential demolition. The second part of the workshop appeals to social work researchers working with place data that requires some analysis or has private information that cannot be displayed on an open website. Crime data is often logged by local police departments as points. Social worker's client records (e.g., protective services) generally should not be mapped, but their trends may be aggregated to protect individual privacy. The third part of this workshop will show how to join a table of information for zip codes, census tracts, cities, counties or states so that they may those data may be displayed graphically or analyzed using QGIS 3.0, a newly upgraded free and open source desktop GIS client. These tools are useful for presenting spatial inequality resulting from gentrification and segregation. Participants will learn how to take data downloaded from the internet, load that into QGIS and perform basic analysis. We will present examples of analysis include display of descriptive statistics, drawing a buffer around a point, and calculating distances. For advanced users, we will also demonstrate spatial analysis using R, the leading free and open source statistical language. The workshop will be primarily a demonstration. The instructors will give attendees a chance to install QGIS on their laptops. The workshop does not assume prior knowledge of GIS. The workshop will be interactive and provide an opportunity for colleagues to share research and take requests on how to solve geographic problems with their data.
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