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Researcher Support Services 06.03.2020

Heat map of racial covenants near Minneapolis

During this time when we continue to work from home and the world around us is turning over, it can be hard to know how to direct our energy. Contributing to remote mapping and data projects is one way to help make our world better.

My role at Auraria Library is to help with geospatial data and methods in research. One of the aspects of my job is teaching people how to contribute to geospatial data. For example, our last meeting of MaptimeMileHigh (see the calendar for future events) was a session on how to add information to OpenStreetMap. A recently published piece in Popular Science gives an overview of how remote mapping can be a positive force:

The article feels a bit dated because the world is changing so quickly. The journalist joined our group back in October and wrote it up before the pandemic started. So I’d like to introduce you to a project that’s been going on a while, but is pertinent for these times: Mapping Prejudice. This project was built by librarian colleagues at the University of Minnesota and is hosted on Zooniverse – a platform you can join to contribute to crowd-sourced data on a wide variety of research projects. Mapping Prejudice has volunteers review real estate deeds in the Minneapolis area to see if they contain racial covenants. These are then mapped to better see the resulting systematic racism.

Here’s where to get involved:

Please feel free to reach out to me at about any questions you have about these remote mapping opportunities!

Best, Diane


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