Archive for the ‘Mapping’ Category

  • Kids Track takes flight

    Some rights reserved by afromusing

    Some rights reserved by afromusing

    Kids Tracks! 

    With 24 kids attending THATCampVA 2013, (wow!) we thought a few notes would help a smooth Camp for parents and kids.

    We will offer 2 tracks, one geared towards older kids, the other geared towards younger. The tracks, much like the rest of THATCamp, are not strict; siblings, friends, and interested kids can choose whichever track suits best.

    With such a strong showing from the under 20 set, we will need your creativity and participation. Consider taking a break from the adult track and deconstructing an old phone with some kids or participating in the kids aerial photography session. We are seeking 2-3 adults per kids session.

    As a adult volunteer, what are you signing up for? A bit of fun and hacking:

    • Minecraft, Printcraft, and game making
    • GIS Scavenger Hunt
    • MaKey MaKey Kit, Drawdio, Arduinio Hacking for Kids
    • 3D Printer
    • Deconstruction Table (P.S. We are seeking old phones, no longer working mechanical things-clocks, computers, etc. for kids to take apart.)
    • Aerial Photography
    • Outdoor Play
    • Kid Friendly Programming (
    • Monticello-focuses session
    • Art Station
    • Board Games
    • Have a good idea for a kid-focused session? Let us know! 

    9:30 Saturday marks the Adult Planning session and a concurrent “getting to know you” kids session; 10:45 am we will schedule the pre-planned blocks for kids sessions.

    Parents, please note lunch will be provided, but afternoon snacks will be limited. 


  • “Mapping Segregation: Racial patterns of residence, land ownership, and rentals in Rivanna Dist., Albemarle County”


    My current research project is aimed at locating the residence of 6500+ inhabitants listed in the 1940 census of Albemarle County.  This work will be presented at the Virginia Forum in March 2014 and I am hoping that discussions of mapping techniques and relevant historical issues at ThatCamp can guide me in completing a project that will have technical and historical merit.

    There will be a dot on the map for each person that will display their 1940 census record when clicked.  I plan to group residents into four classes: white land owners, black land owners, white renters, and black renters.  I want to represent this information with semi-transparent spatial density layers created from the dots for each grouping, which ought to allow the viewer to intuitively perceive the spatial relationship between each group and a base layer of land ownership by race.

    The geodatabase will contain all significant census data for each individual.  This will allow map users to explore the relationships betweThatCampMapen categories of census data and land ownership by way of Boolean queries.  For example, it might be interesting to look at the relationship between race, level of education, and acres owned.  The query results can be exported to a spreadsheet for analysis and will be displayed as selections on the map (see map image and use Firefox to view interactive map at ).  At this stage the goal of this project is not to answer questions about racial segregation in a rural setting, but to provide data and tools to begin to formulate interesting and relevant questions that may emerge from viewing data in a spatial context.

    From a broader historical perspective, I have been interested in the formation of rural African-American communities after the Civil War from the enslaved communities that existed on farms and plantations.  How did freedmen acquire land and what was the quality of the land they purchased?  When, how and where were black churches and schools established? These are the institutions that formalized the identities of rural African-American communities.  When and how were the names of these communities incorporated into land and tax records? — in essence, recognized as distinct entities by white county administrators.

    My guiding concept in this research is that segregation implies not only social, but physical separation.  Therefore, it seems that spatial mappings of race and residence must be a foundational tool for studying themes like the one proposed for the upcoming Virginia Forum, “the creation, maintenance, or transgression of racial boundaries.”

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