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FYFO232: Invisible Cities
Google Mash-ups

The Course
"Invisible Cities," a First Year course at Trinity College, seeks to explore the hidden dimensions of the places we inhabit, with a special emphasis on the dynamic city of Hartford.  For one of their course projects, students in the course used the new technology of Google Map Mash-ups to develop different ways to see the city.  The students worked in conjunction with local community agencies (CREN and HART), along with Carlos Espinosa at the TrinfoCafe, to develop these maps.  As a continuation of their experimentation with mashups some of the students have written a guide to making mashups with Zeemaps. We hope the information in the mash-ups will be useful to Hartford residents, empowering them by making their city more visible.
"Invisible Cities" is one of hundreds of courses in community service learning at Trinity.  For more information, please visit the Community Learning Initiative website, http://www.trincoll.edu/UG/UE/CLI/

The People
The Invisible Cities course is being led by Dan Lloyd, Professor of Philosophy, Rachael Barlow, Social Science Data Coordinator and Caroline Milano, TA, with the assistance of David Tatem, Academic Computing Specialist. The students whose hard work made these maps possible: Alex Englund, Alyce Fernley, Rebecca Freedman, Devlin Hughes, Brett Jackson, Ibrahim Jibrell, Jared Kazanovicz, Andrew McDowell, Michael Miyashiro, Louisa Plotkin, Conor Quinn, Kristina Scontras, Kaitlyn Wilbur and Matt Wrzesniewsky.

The Maps
Educational Resources

There are many educational resources in the greater Hartford area which would be extremely beneficial to Hartford's students and youth if only better publicized.  Our map shows locations of museums, historical locations, government buildings, libraries, and other unique places such as Katharine Hepburn's grave site.  The purpose of our map is to inform the staff of public schools, as well as the parents of Hartford students, of  the educational resources that Hartford has to offer.  We are hoping to get parents more engaged in the education of their children by taking their kids to some of these locations, encouraging curiosity and exploration.  Our hopes are that if we use this map to distribute information to schools and families then they will take full advantage of the resources that this vibrant city has to offer.  Our goal is to make education more exciting and enriching for the students of Hartford by getting kids interested in a variety of subjects and fields.

Food Resources in Hartford
Our project focuses on the Hartford food system and its many components.  We have included over 250 food resources in the Hartford area including community gardens, local groceries, farmersí markets, food pantries, soup kitchens, congregate meals, and other food programs.  It is our hope that the citizens and community leaders will use this map as an effective tool in contacting and utilizing the many food resources in the Hartford community.

Historical Hartford
The city of Hartford is bursting with history, ranging from that of historical buildings, to streets to parks.  The purpose of this map is to link its users to historical Hartford in a quick and easy manner.  For this virtual map, the user is presented with twenty-two different historical spots of Hartford, serving as pinpoints.  With each historical spot, is a brief description explaining the significance of the particular historical location.  Furthermore, pictures of the historical landmarks as well as addresses have been provided so as to make navigating certain historical places, on the part of the user, as simple as possible.

Problem Properties
The Hartford cityscape is dotted with abandoned buildings; the purpose of this map is to link these buildings directly to their owners. The neighborhood organizing group HART - Hartford Areas Rally Together - has long fought to improve every aspect of life in Hartford. Their strategy with abandoned buildings is to offer to help owners rehab their properties. As a first step, however, HART sometimes needs to provide some motivation for the owners to act. Making their names and numbers public is one tactic, which we've multiplied and broadcast with this map. Ultimately, we hope to link addresses with the frequency of 911 calls, and from there document just how much it costs the taxpayers of the city to maintain these wrecks.

Youth Hangouts
Hartford is a vibrant city with many recreational opportunities that are oftentimes overlooked. The purpose of this map is to provide the youth of Hartford with a list of recreational centers and activities that they can become involved in. This map provides all the information you need to plan fun, safe, after-school and weekend activities. Ultimately we hope to attach a blog to each activity for the public to review. Each tag on our map will eventually be reviewed and rated so that public can find the bests spots in Hartford.

 

If you have any questions or comments about these maps contact david.tatem@trincoll.edu

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