Community assessments using map and geographic data

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Geographic information systems, librarians, community assessments

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Geographic information systems (GIS) and maps are an area of expanding use in the social services. Many researchers who begin working on neighborhood assessments find that the types of information they need include the infrastructure of a neighborhood (e.g., civil design and transportation), census, and socioeconomic data, mapped to the block level. They turn to the librarian for help in obtaining the data and the maps. This paper provides an overview of the type of information that may be used in a neighborhood or community assessment and how some of this information can be effectively handled using a geographic information system.

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