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College of Design

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Understanding Housing with ArcGIS

This semester, my busy schedule has finally given me the opportunity to enroll in an optional course that I've heard quite a bit about from other housing students: HSG 5464 - Understanding Housing: Assessment and Analysis. Led by Professor Jeff Crump, we get the opportunity use available housing and community data to create maps with ArcGIS (Geographic Information System software). Not only does ArcGIS bring about a new, interactive approach to analyzing and assessing various forms of housing data - it also gives us an understanding of the ArcGIS program, a valuable skill that is often sought by our future employers. Here are some of the projects I have worked on so far this semester:

GIS 1.png mncounties.png

The course also has a strong design focus as well. We learn all about the colors, patterns, and other symbology used in map-making and how it influences the reader's perception of the mapped data. One of our textbooks is called How to Lie with Maps, combining design and "cartographic literacy."

ArcGIS makes it possible to visually lay out almost any kind of spatial data related to housing, the possibilities are nearly endless. And better yet, our we get to choose the topic of our term project. I have about a thousand ideas so far, I'll keep you all updated as it all comes together!

In other news, we're finally getting some regular Minnesota winter weather! Here is a shot of a seasonal fountain behind McNeal Hall, the College of Design building on the St. Paul Campus.


Looking forward to meeting some of you at the Dean's Reception this Saturday!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.