City of Cambridge to be recognized for blight study
CAMBRIDGE — The City of Cambridge and Salisbury University will be jointly recognized with a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award at the ESRI user conference in San Diego California in July for its pilot blighted housing study, which married ArcGIS and Survey123 software to effectively measure risk factors leading to eventual housing blight.
ESRI, the software developer which makes ARC GIS and Survey123, has more than 100,000 users worldwide, and recognizes approximately 150 every year at its user conference. ARC GIS (geographic information system) is software designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. Survey 123 works in conjunction with ArcMap to apply real-time survey responses to geographic location.
“I am excited to bring this technology to the city,” said Scott Shores, the GIS Specialist for the City of Cambridge. “Our relationship with Salisbury University has turned this into a project that is not only good for Cambridge, but good for the education of local students.”
The project was conceived by Department of Public Works staff, across the Planning, Engineering, and Economic Development divisions as an internal and cost-effective strategy to define ‘blight’ in Cambridge and to potentially highlight priority funding areas throughout the city.
Last fall, 18 Salisbury University students were able to score more than 950 properties in one day. The City of Cambridge and Salisbury University are currently making plans to continue the effort throughout the city and complete the effort this summer using student interns.
“There are a number of different applications for this exciting technology,” said Associate Director of Economic Development, Brandon Hesson. “Primarily, it’s an opportunity to make data-driven decisions, and continue to use that real-time data to measure the effectiveness of existing programs in a way that is cost conscious and utilizes current city resources.”
In the fall of 2016, 18 Salisbury University students were able to identify and score more than 950 ‘blighted’ properties in one day using the Arc GIS and Survey123 software programs.