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Learning Tech for Sustainability with Green Map System

Jake Greenberg and Wendy Brawer at the People, Power, Planet Party Street Fair on the Lower East Side

Hi! My name is Jake Greenberg, I am a rising Senior at Brandeis University (a college in Waltham, Massachusetts) who has been interning at Green Map System during the Summer of 2017. Work is always exciting at Green Map System and I have had more opportunities here than I could have ever expected. With that, I am excited to share some highlights from my experience so far!

I began by assisting Green Map System in incorporating new technologies for community mapping and working toward the launch of its new website, planned for fall 2017. With a background in GIS from college, I have specifically been helping Green Mapmakers utilize advanced platforms like Story Maps on ArcGIS online, making an example map, the Northern Valley of New Jersey Story Map, to demonstrate how the platform works (and to help finalize the tutorial kindly donated by Esri Canada). My map has pictures, videos, and descriptions, each of which makes the Story Map come to life.

In addition, I have tested the Green Map tutorial for the map platform, CARTO. This platform allows for spatial analysis and visualization, and ideal for the example map I created based on data downloaded from the Open Green Map about Passive House Day, highlighting energy efficient buildings that were open to the public in November 2014. As one of the first Green Maps on CARTO, this was an exciting project that demonstrated a new way to promote short-term regional sustainability events.

With all this exciting mapmaking work, I have also had the opportunity to meet geodevelopers from around the city at a GeoNYC meetup hosted by Esri. Together with Janet Felsten of Baltimore Green Map, and Wendy Brawer, I even attended a meeting with Piyali Kundu, Solutions Engineer, and Jim Barry, Geodeveloper Advocate, at the EsriNYC office! Through these events, I learned how others are using GIS in a diversity of fields and applying it to both professional and personal uses, and about various platforms and programs run by Esri. My experience with GIS at school advanced ‘in the real world’ through my internship.

Some great programs I have visited during my internship include the Pratt Institute Incubator for Sustainable Fashion and a Lower East Side Street Fair. In addition, I have attended some exciting educational programs including an LES Ready resiliency workshop, a Mapping for the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals event at the United Nations Church Center, and presentations in the co-working space, Civic Hall (just to name a few)!

Finally, I have been helping Green Map System develop its new website by making stories and tools pages based on work done previously by the Green Map community. This work has led me to appreciate the diversity of applications for which Green Maps can be used, and the diversity of mapmaker backgrounds - unique occupations, a spectrum of age groups, and a wide array of locations around the world. Truly Green Map System lives up to its mantra, “Think Global, Map Local”! I am thankful for these opportunities, and am looking forward to the rest of my summer work experience.

For more details about my summer adventures with Green Map System, read my blog posts for the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University's World of Work Fellowship program!