Worldwide, local governments are addressing institutional racism to ensure equitable opportunity for their constituents. Geography and geospatial data are critical to that work. WGIC member Esri established a dedicated hub that informs all interested parties how GIS can advance racial equity work. Esri’s Racial Equity GIS Hub aims to engage communities by increasing awareness, understanding racial inequities and efforts towards racial justice.
Use maps and spatial analysis
The idea is to use maps and spatial analysis to reveal and understand inequities in experiences and outcomes within any community. Thanks to the hub it’s possible to plan equitable allocations of resources using maps and spatial analysis and by collecting data needed to support racial justice. Firstly, it’s a tool which helps understand and measure the impact of initiatives by visualizing racial inequities and adapting strategy and operations accordingly. Secondly, it presents articles include blogs, news, ebooks, racial equity related conferences, webinars and other events. Lastly, from the comfort of your own home, you can watch past recordings of webinars or view additional videos on the Resources page.
Data is critical to understanding where racial inequities exist within a community or jurisdiction. Within the hub, users explore a growing collection of geospatial data sourced from the global GIS community and Esri partners. One can add these datasets directly to maps and apps to visualize and analyze racial inequities in context. When using these data, Esri recommends further reading. They even point out to a specific article on ethics. It’s from the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association on The Role of the GIS Professional in Issues of Equity and Social Justice .
The hub addresses several real-life examples of racial inequities. It’s worthwhile rethinking mobility in major urban and rural areas. Looking through a racial equity lens can expose patterns of neglected populations and present opportunities to rebalance transportation infrastructure expenditures. Furthermore, it could provide options to meet the needs of residents. Be it in transportation planning and design, economic mobility to environmental factors to health outcomes; the hub tries to show how the historic and detrimental impacts on the environment, health, education, housing, and economic opportunity of marginalized communities can be relieved using location technology.