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A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh geographer is using a new method for gathering geographic data known as photomapping to document transportation challenges in the Fox Valley.

Associate geography professor Mamadou Coulibaly and collaborators Melissa Kramer Badtke, of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, and Connie Kanitz, of the social justice organization ESTHER, shared the early stages of their work during a GeoQuest lecture on Monday, Nov. 13.

The lecture, which kicked off Geography Awareness Week on campus, focused on using geographic perspectives to explore the University Studies Program signature question of civic knowledge and engagement.

The project collaborators are partnering with Fox Valley Thrives, an alliance of public health workers, planners and faith-based community organizers, to use a photomapping app to gather stories and photos from residents impacted by limited access to transportation.

The mapping reveals challenges faced by residents who typically must walk, ride their bikes or take public buses to get to work or to access healthcare. Such challenges may include a lack of sidewalks or no bus route to a key location.

Moving forward with the project, the goal will be to provide a visual picture of transportation access issues to decision-makers in the Fox Valley.

Geography Awareness Week

Geography Awareness Week activities continue Wednesday, Nov. 15, as the campus community celebrates GIS Day, an international forum for users of Geographic Information Systems technology to demonstrate real-world applications that make a difference in society.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students, faculty and staff can stop by a GIS Information Booth in the Reeve Union concourse.

In Sage Hall, Room 4422, a presentation about careers in GIS will take place from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a demonstration about how to make a photo map of campus with a smartphone or tablet’s GPS from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants can then spend a few hours taking pictures for their map, before returning for a final map presentation and party from 5 to 6 p.m. in Room 4422.

Send an email to to sign up to participate in the campus photomapping project.

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