Mapping is the Future!

posted October 15, 2008

Maps have that tremendous potency of transparency, the new commons of future potentials. Institutional hindsight made visual. In taking stock of the obstacles, free rides, resource caches and backyard hydrology.
Strip malls are the problem–Imagine! Clustered housing/commerce/industry villages where we tear out the pavement, build up higher density around the central farmyard, and have high-speed bussing along the highways. Think agri-bonespurs…
We are looking for University partners in GIS to start starting the mapping.
Also, if those google folks could kick us a couple of g’s that would be super useful.
Annalisa has begun this work in Minnesota with her Local Foods Mapping project (see description below), Greenhorns has begun this work with Serve your Country Food. Any others of you doing community mapping that we should know about and collaborate with? If yes, please email Severine (agrariana@gmail.com)
A now for a cool map:
Mapping Minnesota’s Local Foods Infrastructure
The University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Land Stewardship Project, and the Minnesota Project are pleased to announce a first-of-its-kind project “Mapping Minnesota’s Local Foods Infrastructure.”

GIS (Geographic Information Systems), a spatial mapping tool, will be used to create an interactive map of Minnesota’s local foods infrastructure. Maps will include entities such as: fruit, vegetable, dairy, meat, poultry farmers, artisan food producers, as well as restaurants, retailers, hospitals, schools, food distributors, and processors that sell local foods.

This project responds to the expressed need for baseline data on existing local foods  infrastructure by local, regional, and state policy makers, economic development agencies, and planners.

Researchers and non-profits can use the maps to guide further initiatives and projects in areas such as food distribution and processing, and to address inequities in healthy food availability. Farmers, restaurants, retailers, distributors, and processors will have a tool to determine potential local food supply or demand in an area.