In the spring of 2015, University of New Orleans (UNO) students enrolled in the MURP 4081/5081 course-Applied Geographic Information Systems: Information Technology for the Planning Profession (also known as ‘Applied GIS’) led by Dr. Michelle Thompson. Since 2008 this course has provided students with a blended experience with learning the theory and receiving an introduction to spatial analysis using the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) ArcGIS software then applying this knowledge as GIS Analysts with a non-profit community partner. In the fall of 2014, Dr. Thompson competed to have this course designated as the inaugural Department of Planning and Urban Studies (PLUS) service learning course. By January 2015, Thompson developed a scope of services and formed a partnership with the Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association (UTNA) to evaluate Quality of Life Indicators limited to the evaluation of property, road, and storm drain conditions. The Uptown Triangle Neighborhood (UTN), which was formerly known as the ‘Black Pearl’, is a triangular shaped neighborhood and is bounded by Street Charles Avenue, Broadway Avenue, and Leake Avenue.
Prior to the UTNA study, Graham Hayes – UTNA Board Member, UT resident, former WhoData Intern and Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies Program’14 graduate, had developed a series of datasets and crowdsourced data through resident and volunteer activities from spring to early fall 2014. The GIS Mapping Analysts collected primary and integrated secondary data to provide the results of their study in this report. Within the same project, a separate team of novice GIS Programming Analysts developed, tested with the GIS Mapping Analysts and deployed a web-enabled data collection application known as the ‘WhoData Map App.’
The goal of this project and the goal of the client, is to create a tool that will empower members of the neighborhood to advocate community involvement in decision making for the Uptown Triangle Neighborhood. It will also provide a strategic resource for members of the community to evaluate future conditions that may impact the quality of life for those that live there.
Thompson, Michelle M. PhD, GISP; Berliner, Tori; Boney, Jessi; De Melo, Angela; Campbell, Cathleen; Couvillon, Anthony; Dunn, Tarynn; Djoleto, Florence; Garcia, Jennie; Hundtoft, Kelsea; Islam, Syed; Johnson, Reynaldo; Jones, Taylor; Loftis, Matt; Martin, Travis; Pate, Eric; Schmid, Johannes; Smith, Lindsey; Sorrells, Nicholas; Sullivan, Kathryn; and Vallius, Deneka, "Understanding the Uptown Triangle Neighborhood: Mapping Quality of Life Indicators in the Black Pearl" (2015). Planning and Urban Studies Reports and Presentations. Paper 37.