Sunday, March 12, 2006

On Campus: Emerging Political Science Use of GIS

The use of GIS among political science students at UT Arlington is an emerging upward trend. Over the past month, I have been working with numerous (app. 12) graduate students needing to discover various triangles of potential voting and economic power in the U.S.

Now, these students are approaching this project from various angles, but in general here are the data sources we have been using with GIS and SPSS:This has been a lot of fun helping these students access, digest, and analyze these quantitative datasets.

Political science use of GIS on campus began with an open workshop that I held in 2003. The workshop was a site selection exercise where a fictitious democratic candidate (ha!) for the gubernatorial Texas election needed to locate effective locations for campaign headquarters in North Texas. This workshop was attended by Dr. Jose Gutierrez who single-handedly has been spearheading the use of GIS by political science faculty and students on campus. Yes, this same professor made David Horowitz's list of the 100 Most Dangerous Professors in the US.

Dr Gutierrez's undergraduate Texas Local Government courses then served as the pilot project for the successful Spatial Reserves program here at the Library. Click here for more information about this ArcIMS-driven political science project.

Last month, during my blogging hiatus, Dr. Gutierrez and I presented a paper to the American Political Science Association Teaching & Learning Conference detailing the ArcIMS-driven project and the potential for similar projects to be developed. It was very well received. To view the paper, navigate to uploaded papers database and search for 'Been' as an author.

My plan now is to follow all this up with a repeat of the workshop (upgraded of course) this Fall semester to see whether we can continue to grow political science's use of GIS.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just finished a project as a graduate student at Ohio State, and want to thank you for this post. Some of the links helped a great deal since I was working on data for Mansfield, TX. Thanks for the great page.

mapz said...

That's great. Glad these links here helped.

Mansfield, just south of Arlington, is one of the hottest topics students here research as well because the pop/economy is increasing faster than any other part of the county. It's neat to see folks as far as Ohio researching a smaller-sized city like Mansfield as well.

Hey, thanks for the comment. Appreciate it.

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