Poster: Story Mapping Changing Washington, D.C., Neighborhoods

You'll learn about:

  • Using story mapping for community-engaged data collection, analysis, and planning 
  • How story mapping helps planners and community members investigate the social, economic, and political forces behind neighborhood change
  • The power of story mapping as a participatory, community-driven planning tool

How can web and mobile GIS facilitate community-engaged data collection, analysis, and presentation? This poster presentation centers on five Washington, D.C., neighborhoods facing significant demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural change, and the story of those changes as told by long-term residents and community groups.

Student researchers at the University of Maryland used mobile and web GIS applications, along with cognitive mapping methods, to engage with current and former long-term residents about their experiences of their respective neighborhoods. Through active “walking” and map-centered interviews, these residents shared information about the places of highest value to them, the locations of important neighborhood events, and their perception of neighborhood identity and boundaries, as well as their experiences of change over time.

Students then assembled this data into interactive, online story maps documenting the residents’ diverse perspectives on their changing neighborhoods. While each story map is unique to the neighborhood it represents, the five neighborhood story maps nonetheless share a common experience of anxiety about the changes occurring in their communities—and the potential isolation and displacement of vulnerable long-term residents, businesses, and institutions in the community.