Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping is an innovative way to collect and report large amounts of geographical data in a format familiar to everyone – A map.
GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends.. It can be used to show the availability and reach of program services, high need areas, gaps in resources, distances clients have to travel to reach services, and many other communities, program and client characteristics.
Rainbow Research is using GIS mapping in our current Youthprise project and in past work — including work for the Philadelphia Fund for Children. These maps not only show where services are provided and who is receiving them, but also key information about the projects and their beneficiaries, including race/ethnicity, gender, and income level. This information is invaluable to program planners in understanding who is receiving services and who is not.
The following GIS map shows all the out of school time program sites serving youth from 12 to 18 years old in Philadelphia.