What we do

The Community Mapping Lab focuses on community engaged research that improves equity and health in local communities. We focus on a range of issues including housing, food security and food justice, transportation, environmental sustainability, and healthcare access. We work with groups ranging from regional non-profits to small neighborhood organizations. We primarily make use of new and existing tools in geographic information systems and science (GISystems and GIScience). Our goal is to combine geographic tools and concepts with local expertise and organizing to help create healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable communities. 

For more information, see this recent talk by Dr. Shannon, the lab director, on the mission of the lab and recent collaborations (lecture slides here):


Some examples of possible projects include:

  • Creating online, interactive maps using community provided data
  • Identifying and projecting demographic trends in local communities
  • Developing tools for online data collection and geographic visualization
  • Supporting grant applications to local, state or national governments by mapping community needs and trends
  • Providing basic training in open source GIS tools (QGIS, OpenDataKit, and R)

If you're interested in submitting a project to the lab, contact Dr. Jerry Shannon. In considering a new request, we look at our own available resources and expertise, the possible outcomes of the project for the community, and its potenital to improve already existing methods and research on the issues it addresses. Depending on the project and the nature of the collaboration, we may ask for a stipend to cover research time and expenses, though this is usually waived for small organizations.

For members of the UGA community, we also have an active email listserv and regular meetings to share opportunities, discuss current research, and support one anothers' research. We are currently seeking prospective graduate students interested in participatory geospatial research. Email Dr. Shannon for more information.