"Here Now! How Foursquare and Facebook Measure Voting With Your Feet in New York"
Nov 30, 2011 — Alley Lyles

Untapped Cities writes about Here Now project:

"The Spatial Information Lab at Columbia University has a new project which measures how people vote with their feet by using Foursquare and Facebook check-ins. The exhibit, entitled Here: Now Social Media and the Psychological City, is currently on display at Columbia University’s  Avery Hall.  Sarah Williams, the co-director of the lab, and her team analyzed two weeks of check-in data pulled from Foursquare and Facebook API to explore how people communicate their thoughts and preferences on locations in New York City. What’s unique about this analysis is that it links psychological information about the city with hard statistical and spatial analysis. Using urban planning tools such as GIS, the exhibit  re-purposes and visualizes where people are at a given place in time and what they are saying about it."

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"We Are Here Now / Spatial Information Design Lab / Columbia University" - ArchDaily
Mar 30, 2012 — Karen Cilento

ArchDaily's Karen Cilento writes about "Here Now":

"Addicted to checking your favorite site, like ArchDaily, for constant updates, or checking in with Facebook or Foursquare? Don’t worry – you’re not alone, and Columbia’s Spatial Information Design Lab can prove it.  In addition to sharing your whereabouts with friends, your geographic mark provides valuable insight in examining the psycho-geography and economic terrain of the city."

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"We Are Here Now" - Flowing City
Apr 06, 2012 — Flowing City

Flowing City writes about SIDL project Here Now: Social Media And The Psychological City

"Social media are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, from connecting with friends and sharing images to exploring cities through location-based applications. These new services have given us a different vantage point from which to understand, explore, navigate, and geographically record the places we live.

Sites such as Foursquare and Facebook allow us to spatially mark our explorations in the city, creating rich databases that hold digital imprints of our interactions. To analyze these traces, the Foursquare and Facebook Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) were used to access location-based data to determine where social media users broadcast that they are “Here Now”. Analysis of this geographic data exposed the psycho-geography and economic terrain of New York City’s social media users."

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"The Dot Matrix: Some maps show us where to go. But the ones created at Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab may show us where we're headed." - Columbia Magazine
Aug 01, 2012 — David J. Craig

SIDL's work and research ethos was featured with an article in Columbia Magazine: "More data, more maps, more stories. More voices participating in a conversation about how to view our cities, address their problems, and serve their residents. That’s the goal of Kurgan and her colleagues at SIDL, who, for the past eight years, have been training civic organizations, nonprofit groups, and ordinary citizens to tell their own stories through thematic cartography"

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"Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab Helps Map the Future" - Smart Planet
Aug 04, 2012 — Smart Planet, Reena Jana

Smart Planet's Reena Jana write about Here Now: Social Media And The Psychological City:

""Big Data" and "social media" are today's biggest buzzwords. But beyond their trendiness as topics, Big Data and social media also allow everyday people to share their voices and stories, to participate in ways to possibly improve their lives. Someone, however, needs to make sense of all of the information floating around--by organizing neatly and efficiently to help communities analyze patterns, discover problems, and act to find solutions.

This is one of the roles of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), which translates data into beautiful and compelling maps to communicate statistical information."

Read more: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/decoding-design/columbias-spatial-information-design-lab-helps-map-the-future/

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Million Dollar Blocks
Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, we have created maps of “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities.
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The United States currently has more than 2 million people locked up in jails and prisons. A disproportionate number of them come from a very few neighborhoods in the country’s biggest cities. In many places the concentration is so dense that states are spending in excess of a million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents of single city blocks. When these people are released and reenter their communities, roughly forty percent do not stay more than three years before they are reincarcerated. 

Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, the Spatial Information Design Lab and the Justice Mapping Center have created maps of these “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities. The maps suggest that the criminal justice system has become the predominant government institution in these communities and that public investment in this system has resulted in significant costs to other elements of our civic infrastructure — education, housing, health, and family. Prisons and jails form the distant exostructure of many American cities today. 

The project continues to present ongoing work on criminal justice statistics to make visible the geography of incarceration and return in New York, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Wichita, prompting new ways of understanding the spatial dimension of an area of public policy with profound implications for American cities.

Million Dollar Blocks is the first of a series of projects to be undertaken by SIDL, as part of a two year research and development project on Graphical Innovation in Justice Mapping. The project, generously supported by the JEHT Foundation and by the Open Society Institute activates a partnership between the Justice Mapping Center (JMC), the JFA Institute (JFA), and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation (GSAPP).

This unique partnership enables the Justice Mapping Center to refine analytical and graphical techniques within the research and teaching environment of the Spatial Information Design Lab, which can then be applied to real life policy initiatives through work with the JFA Institute. Reciprocally, input from state and local leaders is then brought back to the Design Lab for further development. This feedback loop is a valuable tool resulting in new methods of spatial analyses and ways of visually presenting them that reveal previously unseen dimensions of criminal justice and related government policies in states across the United States.

The results of this collaboration have transformed the project into multiple formats and forums for exhibition.

Data in geographic context shows people in prision are highly concentrated in specific neighborhoods.

Added up block by block, it cost $359 Million Dollars to imprision people from Brooklyn that year.

From a demographic point of view the spending facilitates a mass migration of people to prision, 95% of whom eventually return home.

Community District 16 has 3.5% of Brooklyn's population but 8.5% of its prision admissions.

It cost $11,839,665 to incarcerate people from these 11 blocks in 2003. We call these Million Dollar Blocks. 

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Justice Reinvestment: New Orleans
A vision plan for justice reinvestment in post-Katrina New Orleans.
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In the summer of 2006 SIDL received a grant to further their work in Justice Mapping into a real world application at an architectural scale. A group of five graduate students received fellowships to travel to New Orleans with Professor Kurgan to come up with a vision plan for a high incarceration neighborhood in New Orleans from the perspective of Justice Reinvestment.

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Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections
An online tool for mapping the residential distribution of people involved in the U.S. criminal justice system.
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The Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections is an online tool for mapping the residential distribution of people involved in the criminal justice system. It uses aggregated address data to map the flow of people being removed to prison, reentering communities from prison, and the standing population concentrations of people under parole or probation supervision. 

The Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections is an online tool for mapping the residential distribution of people involved in the criminal justice system. It uses aggregated address data to map the flow of people being removed to prison, reentering communities from prison, and the standing population concentrations of people under parole or probation supervision.

Thematic Maps
Thematic maps reveal the spatial patterns and disproportionate distribution of people under criminal justice custody or supervision at the state, county, municipal, zip code, and census tract levels.

Analytical Data Tables
For each map a series of supporting tables is available which provide additional data variables, such as number of men and number of women under parole supervision.

Supporting Census Charts
And for further context, the Justice Atlas also provides charts of U.S. Census Bureau data about local conditions, such as median household income or percent single parent households.

The Justice Atlas is designed to be updated each year and expanded to include more states, more data, and more analytical themes.

Justice Mapping Center

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Here Now: Social Media And The Psychological City
Mapping social media in the city.
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Social media are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, from connecting with friends and sharing images to exploring cities through location-based applications. These new services have given us a different vantage point from which to understand, explore, navigate, and geographically record the places we live.

Sites such as Foursquare and Facebook allow us to spatially mark our explorations in the city, creating rich databases that hold digital imprints of our interactions. To analyze these traces, the Foursquare and Facebook Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) were used to access location-based data to determine where social media users broadcast that they are “Here Now”. Analysis of this geographic data exposed the psycho-geography and economic terrain of New York City’s social media users.

Social Media App users register far more than what they are doing, they also show what they are feeling. Users reveal when and where they are going through an emotional crisis, experiencing their own personal heaven or hell, an “apocalyptic” event, or simply having a good time. Overlaying this data with more traditional government data sets exposed the economic patterns inherent in the way these applications are used. For example the majority of “check in” data comes from areas in the city that have the highest ratios of commercial use.

The motivations behind these broadcasts vary between the two social media sites. Foursquare users tell us more about the mundane nuances of life – where their bed is, where they get their morning coffee, or where they work. While Facebook users tend to use the site to brag about the iconic places they have been to, Times Square, Little Italy, or the Empire State Building. Both sites tell us how social media users explore the city or more importantly how they broadcast their exploits.

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Superstorm Sandy
A platform for viewing data about the Sandy affected region in the weeks following the storm.
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Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on October 29th. Data generated by governments and volunteers in the weeks following the storm stand to provide critical insight into how the region was affected. These pages make such data visible, and serve as launching pad for further investigations and questions of the impact of the storm.

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