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December 4, 2003

mapping work

I received news yesterday that we were awarded $106,230 by the National Geographic Foundation. The project involves working with high school students to make computerized maps of safe and walkable streets, parks, and nutritious food sources (stores and restaurants) in their city. Kids will walk around the community with Palm Pilots, entering data. We will also collect data on adolescents' "healthy living" behavior (nutritious eating and exercise). Using these data, we will be able to create maps showing safe streets and good food sources, for public display on our website (www.princegeorges.org). Such maps are an example of the kind of relatively sophisticated public good that I find most valuable in the Internet "commons." We will also try to generate a statistical model showing the impact of highly varied local geography on residents' health-related behavior. This model will address the question: "Can we reduce obesity through urban planning?" Finally, we will keep track of the students' civic engagement, on the theory that community-based research is a good form of civic education.

December 4, 2003 8:00 AM | category: none


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