Map Hacking

18 Nov 2009 . . Comments

We’ve been hosting an NEH Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship this week and we have a lot of different folks coming together to talk about mapping issues in higher education. I almost haven’t been able to keep my delicious tagging up with all the kewl new tools folks have been talking about.

One thing I did try out this evening when I got home was Mapstraction. My wife has a set of data (reading test scores) that she’s been wanting to look at to see if there were neighborhoods where students were underperforming. Using a short ruby script (with the graticule gem), I geocoded addresses, calculated a median score across five reading tests, then plotted them using Mapstraction. At the top, I added some slider controls for filtering the data points, and viola, a really quick-and-dirty interactive map that lets her quickly filter ranges of scores to start looking for patterns.

Now to tweak the algorithm for generating the scores…