Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Infrastructure Part I & II (Groups 3 & 4)

This week, the two infrastructure groups met to discuss their plans and strategies for tackling their infrastructure goals when they travel to the cities. Both groups took time out to sit down and redefine exactly what it was they were going to be looking for. For example, what exactly constitutes a “vacant lot?”

The students also reflected on what Professor Harris-Lacewell mentioned in lecture last week. She challenged us to think of models while conducting our research. One of the groups I met with asked each other to think about what food meant to each of them, personally, by the next time they meet. This will aid them in better-connecting with the project. I will hopefully have the results of the combined answers next time I post.

Lastly, I traveled with Wyliena Guan, a member of the Infrastructure Part I group (group 3) to visit with the GIS librarian to learn about mapping out infrastructure. While there, he asked us some thought-provoking questions. Some of which were: “How are you defining your infrastructure elements?” “What does transportation include? What does it mean to you?” “What do you mean by “residential areas”? Does this include urban, rural, etc.?”

These questions caused us to stop and think about what it is exactly we are studying, and how we define what those things mean to us, and to other people. It also caused me to think about how I personally saw these things as well. In general, however, he gave us a very informative lesson on map-making, using the software, searching the databases and finding infrastructure elements. Map-making is a lot more difficult than I first imagined. So, I wish the groups the best of luck with their final projects!