Response Page for Week 13

Submitted by Andy Anderson

Attached is a short reading about the current state of Controlled Choice in Cambridge. Please read this in addition to the articles related to PICS available on e-reserves. As usual, your response should be submitted by Monday @ 6 pm. I know you will be sad to hear this, but this is your last response for the semester. 

Happy researching! 

Due Date: 
Mon, 04/18/2011 - 18:00

Response Page for Week 11

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Saturday, 4/16/2011, at 3:36 PM

For next week, we'll be reading Richard Kahlenberg's All Together Now. We'll also be speaking with him on skype, so keep in mind questions you might want to pose to him directly. 

You can skip chapters 2 and 9, if you are looking to lighten your reading.

Please post a response to the discussion board the evening before class, as usual. 

See you next week!

Due Date: 
Mon, 04/04/2011 - 18:00

Plans for Cambridge Visit

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Monday, 4/11/2011, at 4:08 PM

As you know, there is no response page for next week. I have posted a link on the discussion board however, appropriately titled "Plans for Cambridge Visit..." Please post to let others know of your plans for next week, so that you can coordinate with your classmates. 

What day do you plan on traveling to Cambridge? Where do you plan to go?  Are you planning on driving? What collections do you hope to examine? 

Once you have a sense of which days you and your classmates will be traveling, you'll need to coordinate with one another about transportation. As I mentioned, I have cars reserved for Tuesday. I am working on reserving a car for Friday as well. Please do this as soon as possible. 

Remember to be in touch with archivists prior to your visit, to make sure that the materials are there for you when you arrive. 

I'd also make sure you have a digital camera handy. If you don't own one, check with IT as soon as possible to make sure to reserve one. 

Please use the discussion board to keep us informed of your plans. 

Happy field-tripping! 

- HM

Due Date: 
Mon, 03/28/2011 - 18:00

Response page for Week 9 - Common Ground

Submitted by Hilary J. Moss on Tuesday, 4/5/2011, at 8:27 AM

Your response page this week should speak to Anthony Lukas, Common Ground. Please pay attention not just to Lukas' research methods and arguments, but also to his narrative style. You'll find that as a journalist, he approaches historical writing differently than other authors we've encountered this semester. His work is also heavily grounded in oral histories, in contrast to other authors who have focused on spatial analysis and archival sources.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

Due Date: 
Mon, 03/21/2011 - 18:00

Research Proposal and Bibliography

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Tuesday, 4/5/2011, at 8:27 AM

ASSESSMENT WEIGHT: 20%  

By this point in the semester, we hope you have started to think about the particular research questions and approaches that most interest you. For Tuesday, March 22, please submit a short, narrative research proposal and bibliography describing the research project you hope to pursue during the second half of the semester. This proposal should consist of two components:

  1. A two- or three-page written proposal, detailing the specific research question you plan to address and how you envision such a question might shed light on some of the larger issues about cities, schools, and space we have discussed during the first half of the semester. 
  2. A two-page bibliography, including both primary and secondary sources, which will help us assess if your proposed project is doable given the logistical and time constraints of the semester. Note that this may include references to geographic and other data sets.

As you are framing your proposal, recall two questions which have been at the forefront of our class discussions. While we hope your research will speak to these questions in some way, remember that they are here to guide you but not to constrain you in any way.

  1. How did race, property, and educational opportunity become entangled in Cambridge during the twentieth century?
  2. Why and how did Cambridge — as a community — attempt to disentangle race and property from educational opportunity in the late twentieth century?

As you prepare your proposal, we recommend that you: 

  • Recall the different research models you have encountered over the semester, including but not limited to Highsmith, Erickson, Benjamin, O’Mara, Gordon, and Hillier. Should you be in search of a research idea, we suggest returning to these pieces for inspiration.
  • Consider the primary sources you will have access to during the second half of the semester — in particular, the Cambridge Chronicle, the Koocher Papers, and MIT West.
  • Reflect on whether your research project is doable — that is, can you reasonably complete what you propose given the time constraints of the semester? And also, whether it is worth doing — that is, will answering the question you propose help you to understand some issue relevant to cities, schools, and space in a profound or important way?

Remember that while GIS analysis does not have to be your primary research method, your final project should make use of GIS in some way.

We would also like you to complete at least one oral history for your project as well. We will discuss oral histories in more detail when we read Common Ground after Spring Break. 

We are very excited to see what you have in mind!

Due Date: 
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:00

Response page for Week 7 - Schools and Spatial Inequality

Submitted by Hilary J. Moss on Tuesday, 3/8/2011, at 5:32 PM

As we discussed in class, your response page will related to this week's readings and to documents in either the Koocher Papers or the Elementary School Building Study located in the class archives.

First, read the three articles for this week. As with your last response, you should approach Benjamin and Erickson as models for the kind of research you might want to do later in the semester.

Matthew D. Lassiter, “Socioeconomic Integration” in the Suburbs: From Reactionary Populism to Class Fairness in Metropolitan Charlotte, in The New Suburban History, 120-143.

* Ansley T. Erickson, “Building Inequality: The Spatial Organization of Schooling in Nashville, Tennessee after Brown, Journal of Urban History, forthcoming.

* Karen Benjamin, “Suburbanizing Jim Crow: The Impact of School Policy on Residential Segregation,” Journal of Urban history, forthcoming.

As you are reading Erickson and Benjamin, think about what questions you would like to ask them about their research and their research process. We will be talking with both of them in class on Tuesday.

Second, On Friday, sometime between 10-4, visit the Cambridge School Committee Archives (our class archive in the reading room of Cooper House). Spend a bit of time perusing the document collection available for our class, and think about what research project you might construct related to the Cambridge Public Schools that speaks to themes raised in Erickson, Benjamin, and/or Lassiter. What questions would you ask? What else would you want to know?

Fifth, write your response page, just as you did last week, highlighting what research questions you might ask, should you choose to explore this episode further, and thinking about how your story intersects or diverges from the stories told by Erickson, Benjamin, and/or Lassiter.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

As usual, your response should be posted no later than Monday at 6 pm.

Due Date: 
Mon, 03/07/2011 - 18:00

GIS for Week 7 (3/8)

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Friday, 3/4/2011, at 3:50 PM

By Tuesday, March 8, at 1 PM, please do the following exercises:

  1. On whichever Windows computer you're using, set up the assignment:
    1. Map the network drive \\storage\colq-32 (if necessary).
    2. Inside your own folder, locate your copy of the folder named “Class Week 6” and drag a copy to your desktop (this will make your work faster). You don't need to do this if you're sitting at the same computer as on Thursday, and haven't made any changes to this folder on COLQ-32.
    3. Rename the folder on your desktop “Assignment Week 7”.
  2. You will be continuing your statistical analysis of the urban renewal areas in 1960 Cambridge, for which we designed a relatively poor model on Thursday afternoon.
    1. The first task is to create a better set of explanatory variables:
      1. With Excel, open the file MA_tract_1960_race_housing.xls (or MA_tract_1960_race_housing.csv), which you worked on last week.
      2. If you don't already have a column for fraction of housing that is OwnerOccupied (independent of race), create one.
      3. If you don't already have a column for fraction of population that is Negro, create one.
      4. If you don't already have a column for fraction of population that is OtherRaces, create one.
      5. Create a column for fraction of housing that was built Before1940.
      6. Create a column for average owner-occupied HousingValue. This can be estimated with a weighted average:

        = (V0040001 * (0 + 5000)/2 + V0040002 * (5000 + 7400)/2 + 
        V0040003 * (7500 + 9900)/2 + V0040004 * (10000 + 12400)/2  + 
        V0040005 * (12500 + 14900)/2  + V0040006 * (15000 + 17400)/2 + 
        V0040007 * (17500 + 19900)/2 + V0040008 * (20000 + 24900)/2  + 
        V0040009 * (25000 + 34900)/2  + V0040010 * (35000 + 44900)/2 ) / 
        SUM(V0040001:V0040010)

        Copy the above expression and paste it into the new column in the first row and replace the V004* values with Excel cell references for that row. Then drag the lower-right corner of that cell down the column to copy it with row updates.
      7. Review the instructions handed out in class for Regression Analysis Basics. In the list of Common Regression Problems, note that a good model should avoid multicollinearity, i.e. don't use explanatory variables that are cross-correlated with each other and are therefore redundant. An initial test for cross-correlation can be performed in Excel using the CORREL function, for example:

        = CORREL(M2:M31,R2:R31)

        where the cell ranges refer to two of the possible explanatory variables. (Note that only the thirty Cambridge census tracts, MC001 through MC0030, should be used here, since that is the area of analysis.) If this value is near zero, that indicates no correlation  between the two variables, and if it approaches 1 or -1 that indicates a positive correlation or  negative correlation. Are any pairs of these variables significantly correlated? Why wouldn't we want to use the fraction of housing that is renter-occupied as an additional explanatory variable? Write your answers in a text document in your “Assignment week 7” folder.
      8. Save this document, in Excel format if it isn't already (to preserve the formulas).
    2. The next task is to repeat the Dissolve analysis that we performed on Thursday, since an actual dissolve didn't take place — we shouldn't have included any of the FID fields as Dissolve Fields, since they always vary between features and these fields should have identical values for features that should "dissolve". 
      1. Open your map document from Thursday.
      2. Open ArcToolbox and locate Data Management Tools and then Generalization, and then double-click on Dissolve.
      3. Set the Input Features to be the layer MA_tract_1960_UR that we created on Thursday.
      4. Verify that the Output Feature Class will be in your folder “Assignment Week 7”.
      5. Set the Dissolve Fields to be only from NHGISST through SHAPE_LEN.
      6. Set the Statistics Fields to just the URArea with a Statistic Type of SUM.
      7. Click OK.
      8. When the analysis is finished, close the dialog.
      9. If the new dissolve layer, e.g. MA_tract_1960_UR_Dissolve, is not automatically added to your map, add it.
      10. Open its attribute table and verify that each census tract in the Cambridge area now only shows up once, along with its total urban renewal area.
    3. Add the file MA_tract_1960_race_housing.xls to your map (if it isn't already), and then join it to the layer MA_tract_1960_UR_Dissolve created in step (b), keeping only matching records.
    4. A Geographically Weighted Regression analysis will only be useful if the explanatory variables show evidence of spatial autocorrelation. A good measure of this is the quantity called Moran’s I, described in the class handout.
      1. Open ArcToolbox and locate Spatial Statistics Tools and then Analyzing Patterns, and then double-click on Spatial Autocorrelation (Morans I).
      2. Set the Input Feature Class to be the layer MA_tract_1960_UR_Dissolve created in Step (b) and joined in Step (c).
      3. Set the Input Field to be one of the explanatory variables, e.g. OwnerOccupied.
      4. Set the Conceptualization of Spatial Relationships to Polygon Contiguity (First Order) , so that it will relate immediately neighboring tracts, which is best when you have relatively few polygons and/or if the center-to-center distance from one polygon to its neighbors is highly variable.
      5. Click OK.
      6. When the analysis is finished, copy the Global Moran's I Summary data to your text document in your “Assignment week 7” folder (you may need to expand the tool window to see it). Is this a significantly autocorrelated variable? Write your answer in the same text document.
      7. Close the dialog.
      8. Repeat steps i-vii for the other explanatory variables.
    5. Now perform a Geographically Weighted Regression analysis, as described in the class handout:
      1. Open ArcToolbox and locate Spatial Statistics Tools and then Modeling Spatial Relationships, and then double-click on Geographically Weighted Regression.
      2. Set the Input Feature Class to be the layer MA_tract_1960_UR_Dissolve created in Step (b) and joined in Step (c).
      3. Set the Dependent Variable to be SUM_URArea.
      4. Set the Explanatory Variables to be the ones chosen above, but exclude the one variable that was significantly cross-correlated (multicollinear).
      5. Verify that the Output Feature Class will be in your folder “Assignment Week 7”.
      6. Click OK.
      7. When the analysis is finished, review the summary data (you may need to expand the tool window to see it), and copy it to your text document in your “Assignment week 7” folder. 
      8. Close the dialog.
      9. If the shapefile created here, e.g. GeographicallyWeightedRegression2.shp, is not automatically added to your map and symbolized for you, add it and symbolize it by the parameter StdResidual. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 7” and click the button Save.
      10. Repeat Step (d) on the parameter StdResidual.
      11. Open the attribute table of GeographicallyWeightedRegression2 and copy the “typical values” of the model coefficients and their errors to your text document in your “Assignment week 7” folder. (If a model parameter’s values are not pretty close to being the same, that’s a problem with the model.) 
      12. Review the discussion of Interpreting GWR Results in the handout. Is this a reasonably good model based on the global parameters and model coefficient errors?  Write your answers in the same text document in your “Assignment week 7” folder.
    6. Save your map document.
  3. Drag the folder “Assignment Week 7” from your desktop to your folder in \\storage\colq-32.
Due Date: 
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 13:00

Instructions for Response for Week 5

Submitted by Hilary J. Moss on Friday, 3/4/2011, at 2:39 PM

As we discussed in class, your upcoming response page will relate to Highsmith. As with your last response, you should approach the reading as a model for the kind of research you might want to do later in the semester.

First, read Andrew R. Highsmith, “Demolition Means Progress: Urban Renewal, Local Politics, and State-Sanctioned Ghetto Formation in Flint, Michigan,” Journal of Urban History 35, no. 3 (March 2009), 348-368. This is available on e-reserves.

Second, go to the microfilm room on the second floor of Frost library. I recommend doing this before the weekend during regular daytime hours, so that someone will be there to assist you with the microfilm machine, should you be unfamiliar with it. Once you figure out how to use the scanner, it is easy. But I would strongly recommend having someone there to help you the first time around.

Find the Cambridge Chronicle located in the large gray storage cabinents behind the microfilm machines. From what I recall, it is located on the side of the room closest to the stairs in one of the cabinents, rather than a drawer. It is possible that the location has changed. You might have to wander a bit to find it.

Next, select a reel from a year you would like to know more about. Reels usually are divided into six month intervals. We own 1945 through 1985. I'd suggest something from the 1950s or 1960s to start, since you've been reading about that time period over the past few weeks, and that is also a heyday for urban renewal.

Load the reel on the microfilm machine, asking someone for help if you cannot figure out how to do this. I'd recommend using the machine on the far right, which contains a digital scanner. You'll want to make a pdf file of pages which seem to be relevant or interesting to you. When you do this, I recommend that you create one file (selecting the feature called "scan to batch," rather than a series of individual pdfs). Again, someone at the library should be able to help you do this. You'll also want to make sure that the pages you scan appear as black text on a white background, and not the other way around, as white text on a black background can be hard to read. You should be able to save your pdf on your coloq 32 drive or your u drive. If you find that you are scanning more than 50 pages or so (which you shouldn't need to do), save your files in two batches. I've found that files that are too large often produce errors. 

Third, spend a few hours with the Chronicle. Don't try to read the paper cover to cover. This would take you weeks! Just try and get oriented to the kind of news coverage included in the paper, the major stories or issues of the day, and then look for one episode related to urban renewal.

Once you have found this episode, try and follow it forward or backward in time. When you find a story about this episode, scan and save a picture of the page so that you'll have it for later. When you do this, make sure that the date of the paper is visible on your scan, or else you might forget where you found it. You are not required to look at more than one reel, but should you want to follow your story either forward or backward in time, go for it! You should now have an archive assembled. Save this under the Chronicle folder on the shared Coloq drive.

Fourth, with fresh eyes, return to your archive and see what strikes you. Try to get a sense of the narrative of the episode you are tracking and think about what else you might want to know about this story. Think about how you might approach researching this episode further. What questions would you ask? What else would you want to know?

Fifth, write your response page, just as you did last week, highlighting what research questions you might ask, should you choose to explore this episode further, and thinking about how your story intersects or diverges from the story told by Highsmith.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

GIS for Week 6 (3/1)

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Thursday, 3/3/2011, at 8:05 PM

By Tuesday, March 1, at 1 PM, please do the following exercises:

  1. On whichever Windows computer you're using, set up the assignment:
    1. Map the network drive \\storage\colq-32 (if necessary).
    2. Inside your own folder, locate your copy of the folder named “Class Week 5” and drag a copy to your desktop (this will make your work faster). You don't need to do this if you're sitting at the same computer as on Tuesday, and haven't made any changes to this folder on COLQ-32.
    3. Rename the folder on your desktop “Assignment Week 6”.
    4. The file Inner_Belt_Cambridge_Plats_All.xlsx has been updated with additional data since class on Tuesday. Locate it in the folder “@Data” and then “Class Week 5” and copy it to your folder “Assignment Week 6”, replacing the older one.
  2. You will be analyzing the statistical characteristics of the updated data set Inner_Belt_Cambridge_Plats_All.xlsx. Determine the distribution of the updated sample population by age (max, min, mean, median, mode, standard deviation), race (fractions of W, N*, and other), and home ownership (fraction of owned vs. rented). Summarize this information, including the size of the sample population in a Word document in your “Assignment Week 6” folder.
  3. Create a new polyline layer by tracing out each of the three highway options in the georeferenced highway map, similar to the way you created the Brookline-Elm boundaries (though as a polygon). Trace them from the river to Somerville.
  4. Load the 1960 census tracts and join the provided files.
  5. For each highway option, select the tracts that it intersects, and measure the same statistical characteristics as above for race (W, N*, and other) and home ownership. Hint: in the attribute table you can click on a column and select Statistics… to see statistics for just that selection. Write this information in the Word file in your “Assignment Week 6” folder.
  6. How does the property-owner data analyzed in Step (2) compare to the more general tract information in Step (5) for the Brookline-Elm line? Write your answer in the Word file in your “Assignment Week 6” folder.
  7. Don't forget to save your map!
  8. Finally, finish tracing out the edges of the five urban renewal areas that we started last week.
  9. Drag the folder “Assignment Week 6” from your desktop to your folder in \\storage\colq-32.
Due Date: 
Tue, 03/01/2011 - 13:00

Response page for Week 6 - Universities

Submitted by Hilary J. Moss on Thursday, 3/3/2011, at 8:04 PM

As we discussed in class, your upcoming response page will relate to Cities of Knowledge, by Margaret O'Hara and "Students and the Second Ghetto," by LaDale Winling. As with your last response, you should approach the reading as a model for the kind of research you might want to do later in the semester.

First, read Margaret O'Mara, Cities of Knowledge. As we discussed, read the introductory chapters and the chapters on the University of Pennsylvania. Skim the chapters on Stanford and Georgia Tech. Second, read Winling's essay on the University of Chicago.

On Friday, sometime between 10-4, visit MIT West (our class archive in the reading room of Cooper House). Spend a bit of time perusing the document collection available for our class, and think about what research project you might construct related to MIT that speaks to themes raised in Winling and O'Mara. What questions would you ask? What else would you want to know?

Fifth, write your response page, just as you did last week, highlighting what research questions you might ask, should you choose to explore this episode further, and thinking about how your story intersects or diverges from the story told by O'Mara and Winling.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

Due Date: 
Mon, 02/28/2011 - 18:00

GIS for Week 5 (2/22)

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Thursday, 2/24/2011, at 11:17 AM

By Tuesday, February 22, at 1 PM, please do the following exercises:

  1. On whichever Windows computer you're using, set up the assignment:
    1. Map the network drive \\storage\colq-32 (if necessary).
    2. Inside your own folder, locate your copy of the folder named “Class Week 4 - Editing Map Data” and drag a copy to your desktop (this will make your work faster). You don't need to do this if you're sitting at the same computer as on Tuesday, and haven't made any changes to this folder on COLQ-32.
    3. Rename the folder on your desktop “Assignment Week 5”.
    4. Locate the updated file Inner_Belt_Cambridge_Plats.xlsx in the folder “@Data” and then “Class Week 4 - Editing Map Data” and copy it to your folder “Assignment Week 5”.
    5. In the folder “Assignment Week 5”, find your “Inner Belt Detailed” map document from Tuesday's class with the Interstate 695 Route image, and open it in ArcMap.
    6. Verify that the map document is using relative pathnames; change it if necessary, and save it.
  2. You will be georeferencing the Interstate 695 Route maps, tracing the route of the planned highway, creating a table of affected property owners, and locating at least some of them or their families in Ancestry.com. However you divide up this work, the other member of your pair should check your work for accuracy.
    1. You will be working in pairs:
      1. DA & JBR: Interstate 695 Route p70 and Interstate 695 Route p71 (Plats 86-89)
      2. RS & NN: Interstate 695 Route p72 (Plats 89-93)
      3. TL & JF: Interstate 695 Route p73 (Plats 92-94)
      4. YZ & EP: Interstate 695 Route p74 (Plats 94-97)
    2. The table Inner_Belt_Cambridge_Plats.xlsx has already been partially prepared for Plats 79, 86, 88, and 89, hence the extra map for the first group.
    3. Georeferencing these maps shouldn't require too many points, though the edges may be off due to the photocopying. Use at least two widely separated road intersections. Save your control point links and rectify your image as described in Procedure 2 in your handout Mapping Image Data.
    4. Once you have finished georeferencing, you can create a layer that outlines the highway route.
      1. Each of these maps have two highway Approximate Sidelines, which run between opposite sides of the scanned map. Identify the full lengths of these sidelines. Note that they sometimes follow the edges of the streets (you can see them cross at intersections).
      2. Trace out the highway route:
        1. In the toolbar Drawing, click on the menu button next to the button New Rectangle, and select New Polygon.
        2. Starting at one edge of the map, carefully click in a series along one of the Approximate Sidelines, using short enough segments that you keep the sideline underneath the polygon boundary you are creating.
        3. When you reach the other edge of the map, click again at the near end of the other Approximate Sideline and carefully trace along it back to the first edge.
        4. When you reach the first edge again, double click to end the polygon.
        5. If you make mistakes, wait until after step (iv) to fix them, using Procedures 8 and 12 in your handout Editing Map Data.
      3. The item you just traced out is only a graphic, not a geographic feature, so you'll need to convert it.
        1. In the toolbar Drawing, click on the menu Drawing and select Convert Graphics To Features…
        2. Name the shapefile appropriately, e.g. Interstate 695 Route p70.shp;
        3. Check the box Automatically delete graphics after conversion;
        4. Click the button OK.
        5. When asked Do you want to add the exported data to the map as a layer? click the button Yes.
      4. Change the symbology of the highway route so that it has no fill and a visible boundary.
      5. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 5” and click the button Save.
    5. If you are transcribing the property owner information, use the same format as in the file Inner_Belt_Cambridge_Plats.xlsx. Try to be as literal as possible; possible spelling variations you may notice later should be noted in a separate column. Only transcribe the properties on your own map — you may need to get names off of another sheet, as some of the plats overlap two maps. Note that their order in the list does have a rough geographic order, which should help figure out the lot numbers. 
    6. To access the Ancestry.com census data:
      1. Go to https://www.amherst.edu/library/resources/subject_guides/history;
      2. Scroll down to and click on the link Ancestry Library;
      3. Under Census Collections, click on U.S. Census Collection;
      4. Under Included data collections:, click on 1930 United States Federal Census.
    7. Starting with the more unusual names on the list, try to locate them in the census tracts in Massachusetts State, Middlesex County, Cambridge "Township". Compare the addresses in the census with the address points in your GIS map, and the owner of that property. If you find close matches in surnames at a particular property or full names nearby (beawear speling kan very!), or even the same grouping of names in both documents, describe them in a new set of columns next to their listing in Inner_Belt_Cambridge_Plats.xlsx:
      1. Census_1930: Copy the Source Citation from the Ancestry Page (the one before you go to the image), and append the line number on the image;
      2. Census_Name: the name as listed in the census (it could be different from the property record);
      3. Address: Number and street;
      4. Home: O or R
      5. Relation: relationship to the head of household;
      6. Sex: M or F
      7. ColorRace: W or N or M or I or C or J or F or H or K
      8. Age: Age on April 1, 1930.
      9. BirthPlace: Place of Birth — Person
      10. FatherBP: Place of Birth — Father
      11. MotherBP: Place of Birth — Mother
      12. Language: Mother Tongue/Native Language
    8. These items come from the general description page of the 1930 United States Federal Census that you reached in step (f)(iv) above.

    9. If there is more than one property owner and more than one of them show up in the census at the same location, use the first one on the census (probably either the head of household or the eldest). If they are at different locations, use the one who is at the property of interest, or if none of them are, use the first property owner.
  3. Don't forget to save your map!
  4. Drag the folder “Assignment Week 5” from your desktop to your folder in \\storage\colq-32.
Due Date: 
Tue, 02/22/2011 - 13:00

Readings for Week 4 - Inner Belt

Submitted by Hilary J. Moss on Friday, 2/11/2011, at 1:43 PM

Your response page for this week is a bit different. There are two short readings relevant to spatial segregation and highway construction:

There is also a listing for various documents on the Inner Belt. Those documents, the majority of which come from the Cambridge Historical Society, are scanned and available in a folder marked "Inner Belt" under the Data file on our courses shared drive. Once you open the drive, you'll see several pdf files: some contain letters, some contain maps, while others contain planning documents and data from communities potentially affected by the impending Highway.

Using the secondary readings from this week, and from previous weeks, to guide you, think about what research questions might emerge from this archival collection. I would read the secondary material first, then dig into the online archive. The bulk of your response should be deovted to how you might use these particular primary source materials to structure a research query or project.

You don't need to read every document in detail. Instead, try and find those particular archival pieces that speak most to you.

We look forward to reading your thoughts on the discussion board by Monday at 6 PM!

Also, don't forget the statistics reading for Tuesday:

Due Date: 
Mon, 02/14/2011 - 18:00

GIS for Week 4 (2/15)

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Friday, 2/11/2011, at 9:49 AM

By Tuesday, February 15, at 1 PM, please do the following exercises:

  1. On whichever Windows computer you're using, set up the assignment:
    1. Map the network drive \\storage\colq-32 (if necessary).
    2. Start up the program ArcCatalog. In addition to letting you make changes to individual files like adding their projection, ArcCatalog makes it simpler to copy shapefiles and other GIS files by displaying all of their pieces as a single item. For example, the set of files

      states.shpstates.sbnstates.sbxstates.shp.xmlstates.shxstates.dbfstates.prj

      would all appear in ArcCatalog (as well as ArcMap) as the single item states.shp, which you can easily copy, cut, and paste amongst the folders in the Catalog Tree on the left side of ArcCatalog (usually). In ArcCatalog:
      1.  Make a connection (if necessary) to the Desktop of your computer.
      2.  Make a connection (if necessary) to your own folder in \\storage\colq-32 .
      3. In your colq-32 folder, locate the folder Scanned Maps, find your map document from Tuesday's class with the Cambridge boundary file and the partially georeferenced HOLC map, and double-click on it to open it.
      4. Verify that the map document is using relative pathnames; change it if necessary, save it, and quit.
    3. Return to ArcCatalog and:
      1. Right-click on the folder Scanned Maps, and copy it.
      2. Select the Desktop folder and paste (this will make your work faster).
      3. Rename this new folder Assignment Week 4.
  2. Since the National Historical Geographic Information System, http://nhgis.org/ , can take a while to prepare its data, start with that. The HOLC map is dated 1938, so you should get 1940 data.
    1. Download a census tract shapefile.
    2. Request data for:
      1. General Population Data => Core Demographics => Race => Occupied Dwelling Units by Tenure by Race (NT28);
      2. Buildings => Housing => Value => Median Value of Homes for Which Value was Reported (NT36)
    3. Make sure you download both the GIS CSV file and the ASCII codebook. Give the files a relevant name, e.g. “MA_Census_1940_Housing”.
  3. Continue georeferencing your HOLC map using the instructions on the handout.
    1. Load the set of control point links that you saved at the end of class.
    2. When georeferencing with CambridgeCityBoundary.shp, remember that you need to focus on its corners, and be aware that the boundary in the Charles River is probably not well-defined. You shouldn't do more than ten control points here.
    3. When you've run out of obvious boundary points, add the shapefile CambridgeMajorRoads.shp. Symbolize it in a clear way. You can use its street intersections as well as intersections with the Cambridge boundary, e.g. the middle of bridges across the Charles River (though roads along the river will generally be more accurate). Fill in roughly 20 or so well-distributed points on the edge and in the interior.
    4. Add the shapefiles CambridgeRail.shp and CambridgeSubwayLines.shp; these are relatively small files but may allow for a few more significant points where they don't follow major roads. Again symbolize them in a clear way.
    5. Save your Link Table in the folder Assignment Week 4.
    6. Set the Transformation: to Spline.
    7. Rectify your image, saving it as a JP2 file in the folder Assignment Week 4,  with a compression of 50 and bilinear resampling.
    8. Add the rectified image to your map and set its NoData symbolization to No Color.
    9. Turn off the original image (this should make it faster).
    10. Save your map document.
    11. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 4”  and click the button Save.
    12. Roughly how much of Cambridge falls into the four different HOLC housing grades (expressed as fractions of the total graded area)? Write your answer in a text file “Answers” in your folder Assignment Week 4.
  4. Using the  census data for 1940:
    1. Add the tract shapefile to your map. 
    2. Consider the ratio of total owner-occupied housing to total tenant-occupied housing:
      1. Use Excel to add columns to the housing CSV file and calculate these values. Resave as CSV or as Excel.
      2. Join the housing table to the tract shapefile.
      3. Symbolize this ratio.
      4. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 4”  and click the button Save.
      5. How does this ratio compare to the HOLC housing grades? Write your answer in a text file “Answers” in your folder Assignment Week 4.
    3. Consider the ratio of Negro-owner-occupied housing to White-owner-occupied housing:
      1. Symbolize this ratio.
      2. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 4”  and click the button Save.
      3. How does this ratio compare to the HOLC housing grades? Write your answer in a text file “Answers” in your folder Assignment Week 4.
    4. Consider the value of housing:
      1. Symbolize this quantity.
      2. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 4”  and click the button Save.
      3. How do these values compare to the HOLC housing grades? Write your answer in a text file “Answers” in your folder Assignment Week 4.
    5. Don't forget to save your map!
  5. Drag the folder “Assignment Week 4” from your desktop to your folder in \\storage\colq-32.
Due Date: 
Tue, 02/15/2011 - 13:00

GIS for Week 3 (2/8)

Submitted by Andy Anderson on Monday, 2/7/2011, at 12:46 PM

By Tuesday, February 8, at 1 PM, please do the following exercises:

  1. On whichever Windows computer you're using, set up the assignment:
    1. Map the network drive \\storage\colq-32 (if necessary).
    2. Inside your own folder, locate your copy of the folder named “Class Week 2 - Mapping Names” and drag a copy to your desktop (this will make your work faster).
    3. Rename the folder on your desktop “Assignment Week 3”.
    4. Copy all of the files in the folder
           \\storage\colq-32\@Data\Assignment Week 3
      into your desktop folder “Assignment Week 3”. These are all necessary to display the shapefile Cambridge_Schools_2000.shp.
    5. In the folder “Assignment Week 3”, find your map document from Tuesday's class with the Year 2000 poverty information, and open it in ArcMap.
  2. Compare census poverty information with school information:
    1. If it's not already on your map, add the layer
          Boston_Area_Census_2000.shp 
      and symbolize it with FeaturesSingle symbol using hollow interiors and thick black boundaries.
    2. Zoom your map to Cambridge, and make sure that its census tracts use the symbology Quantities — Graduated colors, and a set of distinguishable poverty classes appropriate for Cambridge.
    3. How do the poverty classes for Cambridge compare to the rest of Middlesex County? Write your answer in a text file named “Answers” and save it in your folder “Assignment Week 3”.
    4. Add the layer
           Assignment Week 3\Cambridge_Schools_2000.shp
      to your map, and label it.
    5. Using Excel, copy the table “Demographics of Elementary Schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2000-2001” from p. 171 of Edward B. Fisk, “Controlled Choice in Cambridge, Massachusetts”. Format the table so that it can be used with ArcMap. Recall the basic rules described on this web page:
      http://www.ats.amherst.edu/software/gis/mapping_named_data/#MakinganExcelFileCompatiblewithArcGIS 
    6. Add an extra column to the Fisk table representing the school popularity, as described on p. 179. This information is an incomplete ranking of the schools, but they could be assigned a few categorical values.
    7. Join the Fisk table to the Cambridge School Districts layer, as described on this web page:
      http://www.ats.amherst.edu/software/gis/mapping_named_data/#JoiningaTabletoaLayer 
    8. Investigate the relationship between poverty and the locations of the schools:
      1. Symbolize the Schools layer by the percentage of students receiving subsidized lunch, using QuantitiesProportional Symbols.
      2. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 3”  and click the button Save.
      3. How do the schools with a larger percentage of students receiving subsidized lunch compare with the higher-poverty areas of Cambridge? Write your answer in the text file “Answers” in your folder “Assignment Week 3”.
    9. Investigate the relationship between the popularity and the locations of the schools:
      1. Symbolize the Schools layer by the popularity of the schools, using Quantities — Graduated Symbols (if you assigned numerical categories) or CategoriesUnique Symbols and different-sized symbols (if you assigned textual categories).
      2. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 3”  and click the button Save.
      3. How do the schools that are more popular compare with the higher-poverty areas of Cambridge? Write your answer in the text file “Answers” in your folder “Assignment Week 3”.
    10. Don't forget to save your map!
  3. Investigate historical poverty in Cambridge:
    1. Save a new copy of your map from step (2) with a new name.
    2. Visit the National Historical Geographic Information System, http://nhgis.org/ . 
      1. You'll have to create an account on this web site in order to get its data. 
      2. Download a Year 1980 census tract shapefile.
      3. Request a basic poverty table (NT91A) that includes the census tracts in Cambridge. Note that the site may take a while to prepare a data set for you, so it sends you a link in an e-mail when it’s finished.
      4. Make sure you download both the GIS CSV file and the ASCII codebook. The latter is a simple text file that provides the metadata for the former, including attribute descriptions.
      5. Give the files a relevant name, e.g. “MA_Census_1980_Poverty”.
    3. Open the poverty data in Excel:
      1. Notice how its structure is different than that provided for Year 2000.
      2. In the first blank column, create your own Total column to describe the total population for whom poverty is determined. For example, if the Income above poverty level and the Income below poverty level are in columns M and N, then click on cell O1 and type
             Total
        and key Enter.
      3. To calculate the total for row 2, select cell O2, type
             = M2 + N2
        and key Enter.
      4. Finally, select cell O2 again, grab the lower-right corner of its outline, and drag it to the bottom of the table to copy it downward and at the same time update its row number.
      5. Save the file and say Yes and No to the next two dialogs.
    4. Add the tract shapefile to your map, join the poverty data, and provide the same symbolization as for the Year 2000 data in step 2(b). 
    5. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; name the file appropriately and then navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 3”  and click the button Save.
    6. How does poverty change in Cambridge over these twenty years? Write your answer in the text file “Answers” in your folder “Assignment Week 3”.
    7. Don't forget to save your map!
  4. Drag the folder “Assignment Week 3” from your desktop to your folder in \\storage\colq-32.
Due Date: 
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 14:00

Readings for Week Three (2/8)

Submitted by Hilary J. Moss on Thursday, 2/3/2011, at 11:36 PM
The Federal Role in Spatial Inequality (Housing)

Reading:

By Monday evening at 6 PM, please compose a detailed response paper to Hillier and Freund and post it to the discussion board (in the menu at the left). To review:

These response pages should be thoughtfully conceived and constructed and should address the following issues:

  1. What is the central argument of the reading?
  2. How does the author support those claims?
  3. How does this author’s point of view intersect with other readings we have encountered throughout the course?
  4. Please propose and elaborate on one issue raised by the reading you believe should be included in our class discussion.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

Due Date: 
Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:00

Readings for Week 2 (2/1)

Please read the following for discussion in class on Tuesday:

A few words on Mapping Decline. It's a bit dense. Don't get lost in the details. Try and read for argument, terms, and methodology. Many of the subjects Gordon discusses — decline, urban renewal, blight, and so forth — we'll be discussing intensively over the next few weeks of the semester. The key here is not for you to become experts on St. Louis, but to familiarize yourself with the way in which Gordon approaches historical inquiry and the post-war city.

Regarding “The Elements of Statistics”, this is mostly definitions and descriptive statistics, which we'll talk about as we use them in class. Reading in advance will help but if you find it heavy going it may be more effective for you to skim it and then read it in detail after the class.

By Monday evening at 6 PM, please compose a detailed response paper to Mapping Decline and post it to the discussion board (in the menu at the left). To review:

These response pages should be thoughtfully conceived and constructed and should address the following issues:

  1. What is the central argument of the reading?
  2. How does the author support those claims?
  3. How does this author’s point of view intersect with other readings we have encountered throughout the course?
  4. Please propose and elaborate on one issue raised by the reading you believe should be included in our class discussion.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

Due Date: 
Mon, 01/31/2011 - 18:00

GIS for Week 2 (2/1)

By Tuesday, February 1, at 1 PM, please do the following exercises:

  1. On whichever Windows computer you're using, you'll probably need to again map the network drive \\storage\colq-32 (it turns out that shortcut you stored on your U: drive will only work on the exact same computer as before).
    • Once you have mapped this drive, inside your own folder, create a folder named “Assignment Week 2”.
  2. Using the map that you created in class this past Tuesday, pick up where we left off:
    1. Open the map you created in class and complete the exercise in the handout entitled “Adding and Symbolizing an Image Layer”, which is also on this web site:
      http://www.ats.amherst.edu/software/gis/constructing_sharing_maps/#AddingandSymbolizinganImageLayer
      To work with your data, you may need to make a new connection from within ArcGIS to the network drive \\storage\colq-32 .
    2. Change the symbology of the layer States to be Features using a Single Symbol with no fill color and a thick, bright red outline, as shown in the exercise above.
    3. Center the United States in the view, as shown (hint: right-click on the States layer to bring up its contextual menu, and one of the items there does the job).
    4. Save the map.
    5. Menu File and then Export Map…, and in the resulting dialog locate the menu Save as Type: and choose PNG; navigate to your folder “Assignment Week 2”  and then click the button Save.
  3. Investigate some basic demographic characteristics of Boston-area cities and towns:
    1. Create a new map (you could, for example, click on the button  New Map File). Make sure it is using relative pathnames, and save it in your folder  “Assignment Week 2”. Also click the Save button after each step below!
    2. Investigate the total population:
      1. Add this layer to your map (you will probably need a new connection):
              \\storage\colq-32\@Data\Assignment Week 2\Boston-Area Census 2000.lyr
        (note .lyr not .shp). This layer contains all of the cities and towns near Cambridge, along with selected census information.
      2. Label the cities and towns on the map; make sure that they are readable with the symbologies you use below.
      3. Symbolize the map using the Quantity Total Population. In this case, use a Dot-Density symbology with a dot value of 2000.
      4. Save a PNG file as described above in step 2(e).
      5. Which locations appear to have the highest densities? Write your answer in a text file and save it in the same folder as your saved pictures.
    3. Investigate the Black population:
      1. Right-click on the layer you created in step 3(b) and copy it; then menu Edit and Paste to create a new layer with the same data. Turn off one of the two layers.
      2. Change the symbology of the new layer using the Quantity % Black = Black Population / Total Population and the Graduated Colors symbology.
      3. Save a PNG file as described above in step 2(e).
      4. Which locations appear to have the largest proportion of Blacks? Write your answer as described in 3(b)(v).
    4. Investigate the Hispanic and Latino population:
      1. Right-click on the layer you created in step 3(b) and copy it; then menu Edit and Paste to create a new layer with the same data. Turn off one of the two layers.
      2. Change the symbology of the new layer using the Quantity % Hispanic-Latino = Hispanic-Latino Population / Total Population and the Graduated Colors symbology.
      3. Save a PNG file as described above in step 2(e).
      4. Which locations appear to have the largest proportion of Hispanics and Latinos? Write your answer as described in 3(b)(v).
    5. Investigate families with children:
      1. Right-click on the layer you created in step 3(b) and copy it; then menu Edit and Paste to create a new layer with the same data. Turn off one of the two layers.
      2. Change the symbology of the new layer using a Chart, in particular a Pie Chart. Use the three categories of Families with children: Married Couples, Single-Parent (Male), and Single-Parent (Female).
      3. Save a PNG file as described above in step 2(e).
      4. Which locations appear to have the largest proportion of single-parent families? Write your answer as described in  3(b)(v).
Due Date: 
Tue, 02/01/2011 - 13:00