Thinking Spatially

Since 2018, the IAS has partnered each fall with U-Spatial, the UMN Libraries, DASH, and LATIS to present an interactive mapping event designed to bring participants together around mapping a common research theme, such as the year 1968: Conflict and Change, Environmental Justice, and Politics and Polarization. Speakers and data sources offer participants an interdisciplinary approach to further explore the spatial context of these historic and current events, as well as the opportunity to identify and recognize the value of data visualization and the role of maps in presenting data. Workshops include using ArcGIS Story Maps and other means to develop and present research around the chosen theme.

The event is free and open to the public and has garnered interest from across the University’s system campuses, as well as the general community.


2021 Symposium

Thinking Spatially 2021 Symposium
Map displaying residential parcels with racial covenants in red | Data source: Mapping Prejudice

Mapping Civic and Community Engagement

September 24, 2021
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

A Virtual Symposium

Join us at the 4th annual Thinking Spatially symposium as we explore the topics of Civic and Community Engagement. Approaching our own communities from a geographic perspective may help to provide clarity as we work to make these places safer, more sustainable, and more equitable places to live. How are the shapes of communities changing over time, and why? How do we bring sustainable social justice into the community? How do we invest locally to create environments in which diversity and racial equity thrive? This symposium offers a look into a variety of local projects that are working to answer these and similar questions. Additional presentations will provide an overview of the data, tools, and software resources available at the University of Minnesota, including Esri Story Maps.

Thinking Spatially: Mapping Civic and Community Engagement will appeal to everyone interested in urban planning, local projects that are tackling some of the most important issues of the day one neighborhood at a time, or projects that help to identify where civic and community action are most needed. All faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to join us at this free event via Zoom.

EVENT DETAILS & REGISTRATION ▸

 

 

Past Events

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2020 Symposium: Mapping Politics and Polarization

September 2020

What are the drivers of polarization and how do they affect political perspectives? Can maps help us to interpret the divisiveness more efficiently? Thinking Spatially: Politics and Polarization is for everyone interested in politics, partisanship, idealism, voting patterns, racism, civil rights, community development, mapping, and more. All faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to join us at this free, online event.

VIEW FULL EVENT WEBPAGE ▸

2019 Symposium: Mapping Environmental Justice

 “Environmental justice” has been a popular buzzword in social science research in recent years. The concept has been used to examine issues ranging from disaster relief and climate change to food security. To start understanding environmental justice, we need to think through historically rooted understandings of environmental issues to help imagine radical solutions.

This workshop is for everyone interested in topic such as community development, politics, racism, civil rights, industrialism, food security, or environmental discrimination. Spatial relationships help to define factors that diminish social equity, environmental safety, and ultimately, quality of life. Mapping Environmental Justice offers perspectives from invited speakers who will share their scholarly work surrounding the intersection of the environment and equity, as well as opportunities for participants to learn story mapping, and spatial data availability.

Focusing on this topic of environmental justice, we call on all faculty, staff, students, and community partners to participate. Bring your talent and curiosity to apply an interdisciplinary approach to further explore the spatial context of environmental justice. This all-day event is designed to bring people together into working groups based on common themes (defined by the workshop participants). To compliment the participant expertise brought to the workshop, working groups will also have the support of library, mapping, and data science experts to help gather, create, and organize the spatial components. Working groups that develop from this event are eligible to receive an award for completed projects.

View full event overview and presentation slides ▸

2018 Symposium: Mapping 1968: Conflict and Change

1968 was one of the most turbulent years of the 20th century.  2018 marks the 50th anniversary of that year’s landmark political, social and cultural events–events that continue to influence our world today.

Focusing on the importance of this 50 year anniversary we are calling out to all faculty, staff, students, and community partners to participate the workshop ‘Mapping 1968, Conflict and Change’. This all-day event is designed to bring people together into working groups based on common themes.  Bring your talent and curiosity to apply an interdisciplinary approach to further explore the spatial context of these historic and/or current events. Learn new skills on mapping techniques that can be applied to any time in history. To compliment the expertise that you bring to the workshop, working groups will also have the support of library, mapping, and data science experts to help gather, create, and organize the spatial components of a given topic.

Event livestreams available here ▸

Sample Projects

Participants at the annual Thinking Spatially symposium are invited to create their own map, with the feedback of their group. Here are just a few examples of what participants have created.

 

Redlining map

Redlining in the Twin Cities in 1934: 1960s and Today

by Eric Myott, Law School Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity

 

Waterways map

Deindustrializing Twin Cities Waterways 1968–2018

by Joanne Richardson, River Life & Open Rivers, Institute for Advanced Study