“Mapping Urban Inequalities with GIS”

Linda Loubert, an assistant professor in the Economics Department at Morgan State University and an affiliate researcher in the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State, analyzes the use of ArcGIS in mapping areas of social and health concerns in urban centers. Her article highlights three essential uses of ArcGIS:

  • “ArcGIS is used to geocode 911 calls and crime data to socioeconomic and demographic data to determine a focus/study area.
  • ESRI Business Analyst mapped all businesses around a proposed emergency shelter site.
  • GIS is important to homelessness prevention.”

Loubert discusses the issue of homelessness and homelessness prevention in urban areas such as Baltimore. She attributes homelessness to both the high cost of living and a lack of institutional health coverage for those with mental illnesses. According to The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. “more than 800,000 people may be homeless on any given day; 200,000 of them may be children” (Burt, M. R., 2001). These substantial numbers can help support policy changes to implement solutions for those in most need.

“Using its overlays and tools, the institute’s researchers incorporated ArcGIS in this study beginning with community mapping; they collected information from the city, local businesses, and neighbors of the proposed site. They captured mobility patterns of homeless individuals using GPS. ArcGIS provided the tools to geocode 911 calls and crime data to U.S. census block groups, and socioeconomic and demographic data from the U.S. census was added to paint a picture of the focused area for analysis. The researchers took population density into account for defined neighborhood boundaries and the location of current service providers within a 1.5-mile radius (showing at least 60 percent of the providers of services to the homeless)” (ArcNews Online).

“For more information, click here for the full article.

Source and picture directly from:

ArcNews Online

Gretchen Grajo, VERTICES intern


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