A Sense of Place


November 16, 2016

Charles E. Young Research Library

Featured Presenters

Mia Bennett

Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA Department of Geography

Mia Bennett is the founder and editor of the Cryopolitics blog. Her research examines the pathways and processes of Arctic natural resource and infrastructure development using methods from political geography and remote sensing. Mia received an MPhil in Polar Studies from the University of Cambridge. She can be followed on Twitter @miageografia.

Omar Ureta

Urban Designer & Civic Hacker

Urban designer by day, civic hacker by night, Omar Ureta is a design technologist revealing the complexities of land use planning and development. He is part of an emerging community of civic hackers and leads maptimeLA, a volunteer group open to anyone interested in collaborative learning, exploration and map creation. He holds a BArch from Woodbury University and a MSArch with a focus in Urban Policy from Woodbury University.

James Walker

Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA Department of Geography

James specializes in Political Geography, with an emphasis on Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems. His research revolves around issues of governance, the geopolitics of humanitarian intervention, and the application of emerging technology in the context of international human rights work. He holds a B.A. in Global Studies and an M.A. in Geography from UCLA, and writes a semi-serious blog about the insanity of globalized geopolitcs called “GeoPolichinelle.”

Charlotte Wolter

Principal, The IP Voice

Charlotte Wolter was a technology journalist for 25 years, focusing on the world-changing developments in communication technology from 1985 to 2010. She now is involved deeply in crowd-sourced and open-source GIS, specifically OpenStreetMap, its Missing Maps project and Maptime. She also provides volunteer technical services to several nonprofits, including the annual conference of Southwest archaeologists, the Pecos Conference, where she has been a participant for 30 years. She plans to introduce those at the TEDxUCLA Mapathon to the power they have at their fingertips to change the world from their laptops through humanitarian mapping.

Student Showcases

Monica Berry

Early African American Film, 1909-1930

This main goal of this project was to collaboratively create a database on early African-American silent race films by drawing together information in a wide range of primary and secondary sources. For the purpose of this project, we determined that we would only include silent films created before 1930 for African-American audiences. Monica is a 3rd year, World Arts and Cultures major and Digital Humanities minor. She focused on creating data visualizations for this project with the hopes of making our data more accessible. Monica plans to continue her studies in both departments at UCLA before her early graduation next winter.

Pete Broadwell


The NewsSCOPE (http://newsscape.library.ucla.edu/public/newsscope) is a project to geocode and visualize place names in the UCLA NewsScape collection of television news. Relying solely on open data and open-source programs including the Stanford Named Entity Recognition library, the Gisgraphy geocoding framework (which uses data from geonames.org and openstreetmap.org), and the D3.js Javascript library, the NewsSCOPE maps 14.3 million detected place names to approximately 81,000 unique points or regions. The place names were extracted from the 2.48 billion words of closed captioning transcripts of the more than 306,000 hours of news recordings in the NewsScape from 2004 to the present. The NewsSCOPE interface provides an interactive map and timeline that plots the daily, monthly and yearly frequencies of references to locations, as well as the ability to filter by specific news networks from eight countries, including 10 US cable networks and 12 regional affiliates. The interface facilitates further study of specific place references via links to their associated news recordings and transcripts in the NewsScape collection.

Cat Callaghan and Nicole Brown

Neighborhoods & Ridership in Los Angeles

This is a study of the areas immediately around the Orange Line bus rapid transit (BRT) and Gold Line light rail in Los Angeles that were installed in the mid-2000s. We looked at American Community Survey data, DataQuick/CoreLogic, and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Census data to explore these regions over time. In order to determine the effects on land values and transit ridership these areas were studied before and after implementation. Using GIS we were able to spatially analyze the effects on these two lines on the people living there. Nicole Brown and Cat Callaghan are Masters students in their second year at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Nicole’s concentration is Design & Development and Community and Economic Development. Her background is in affordable housing policy and youth engagement. Cat’s concentration is Transportation Policy & Planning and has a background in architecture designing rail stations.

Amman Desai

Victims of State Violence

Mapping the sites of murder by police in LA county in the past five years. Amman Desai is a Master’s Student in Urban and Regional Planning where he is concentrating on community economic development. His interests include basmati rice, Baduizm, animality, curry leaves, elephants and lions.

Timothy Douglas

Risk Factors for Bicycle Crashes in LA County

A group of researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley embarked on a project to better understand the factors that influence bicycle crash risk at intersections and along segments in LA County. Using count data, researchers studied 1,139 intersections and segments using a variety of variables, including demographic and physical information. Both the raw number of crashes and crash rates (based on bicycle volumes) were analysed. The analysis studied intersections and street segments separately. The graphics that I have produced highlight the patterns that emerge with regards to bicycle safety in LA County, and the highly spatialized nature of bicycle riding. Timothy Douglas is a 2nd year Master’s student in Urban and Regional Planning. Originally from Ottawa, Canada. Timothy completed his BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to coming to UCLA, Timothy interned with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development as well as SubArt, a non-profit funded by the transportation and public space advocacy organization SPUR, whose mission is to expand public art throughout the transit systems of the Bay Area. While at UCLA, he has had the pleasure to work on research projects with Urban Planning faculty and staff at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. Currently he is interning at Fehr & Peers, where he assists full-time staff with projects for clients such as Metro and the City of LA to improve communities through transportation planning.

Hannah Gustafson and Dan Cheng

The Energy Atlas

The Energy Atlas is an interactive web Atlas that provides decision-makers, researchers and the public with access to the largest and most disaggregated building energy data available in the nation. Powered by a geospatial relational database that connects address level energy consumption to building characteristics and census information, the tool can be used to inform energy planning and research in Los Angeles and throughout California as the State works to achieve its ambitious energy goals, and as local regions work to create energy sustainability. Hannah Gustafson is a GIS Data Analyst with the California Center for Sustainable Communities (@CCSCatUCLA) in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. At CCSC, she helps develop the LA Energy Atlas, an online tool for visualizing and analyzing energy consumption patterns throughout the Los Angeles region. She recently graduated from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning where she focused on identifying high potential zero net energy building types in Los Angeles County. Dan has a Master’s degree in GIS for Development and the Environment from Clark University, her expertise area has expanded from GIS/RS spatial analysis to GIS programming and database development over the past several years of working experience. She has worked on a variety of database projects including database migration, database design and database unification. At CCSC, she leads in developing the upgraded database for energy atlas 2.0 which targets a broader geographical area and wider data kinds.

Shenyue Jia

UCLA Grand Challenges – Biodiversity

Come learn more about the Biodiversity Atlas of Los Angeles! This project is part of UCLA Grand Challenge Sustainability. In the Biodiversity Atlas of Los Angeles County, we hope to establish a baseline knowledge of which species depend upon the region’s resources and the extent to which they use them. Through a combination of remote-sensing data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, and existing and newly developed datasets, we will identify the spatial distributions and habitat requirements of endangered, iconic, and representative species in this diverse area. These maps can serve as a valuable tool for conservation scientists, policy-makers, and land managers in highlighting key areas for monitoring and management efforts. We also hope to draw the public’s attention and interest to the current breadth of species that shares their region. This project is a part of UCLA Grand Challenge Sustainability. Shenyue Jia is the GIS specialist on the team of Biodiversity Atlas of LA County. She is responsible for collecting, preparing and managing geospatial data for the Atlas and map design.

Minnie Min Ying Li

Freight Network System

Creating a database and visualization of the truck routes system for Southern California. This project is affiliated with the Southern California Association of Governments. By looking into general plans and municipal of over 200 cities, maps are created for the entire region. Either by geocoding and geoprocessing, the finalized freight network maps showed how there are some insufficiency of their freight networks in some cities. For example, by putting a categorized manufacturing facilities layer on top of the routes, it shows there may not be enough routes for a certain city where there are many facilities such as warehouses/factories that require large amount of truck routes (Concentration of manufacturing but with no truck routes). And also another scenario could be there are no connection of truck routes between two cities. The end of one city’s truck routes is not connected to another city’s routes. This is also an insufficiency of freight network. This is an important research/ project because drivers get tickets for operating on prohibited roads all the time, and to avoid so, they need to drive extra miles which requires extra time and costs. Therefore, the goods movement of the entire Southern California region is highly affected by it. It addresses the theme by showcasing how the location of a certain system or facility can affect our daily lives, in this case, the goods movement of the region (such as the goods you buy from grocery stores, the products you order online or the food you eat in restaurants).

Steven Martinez

The UCLA Library’s Henry J. Bruman Map Collection

This project aims to bring an interactive introduction into the UCLA library amazing vast map collection as well as the many Geographic resources.All of which will be available online in the UCLA library website. This project addresses the theme of sense of place since it brings visuals to the series of historical map collections and features digital maps and spatial data for use with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Paula Rodriguez-Diaz

Life by the freeways

Life by the freeways An Ethnography on East 2nd St. How the freeway impacts the daily lives and use of space of surrounding neighborhoods of color. Paula Rodriguez-Diaz is a third-year Sociology major and Latin American studies masters-hopeful. She is a Regent Scholar and an honors student whose ultimate scholastic goal is to attend UCLA Law School. She believes that the narratives of her community in South East Los Angeles are important and should be shared with the world. She hopes to one day provide adequate legal representation to her community in East Los Angeles.

Setarah Saleh

Mapping UCLA’s Los Angeles Times Photo Archive

Come learn more about UCLA Library’s Los Angeles Times Photo Archive through visualizations using Tableau. Setareh Haji Saleh is a third year M.Arch.I student at UCLA A.U D. She got her bachelor degree in Architecture at the IKIU, Iran. In Summer 2016, she started working with DResSUP as a student assistant focusing on Data Visualization. Using programs like Tableau Public and Processing, she assisted participants in visualizing their data.

Sagarika Subramanian and Sarah Chiang

Environmental Report Card

Come learn more about the Environmental Report Car for the County of Los Angeles! This project is part of UCLA Grand Challenge Sustainability. This is a The challenge of moving towards sustainability in Los Angeles County is daunting: it is the most populous county in the nation and consists of 88 individual cities. After nearly two years of gathering and analyzing data, the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA has developed an Environmental Report Card for the County of Los Angeles, the first of its kind in the nation for a major metropolitan area. The aim of this report card is three-fold: to provide a broad picture of current conditions, to establish a baseline against which to assess the region’s progress towards environmental sustainability, and as a thought provoking tool to catalyze policy discussion and change. Sagarika and Sarah both recently graduated in Spring 2016, with a B.S. in Environmental Science, and a minor in Environmental Systems and Society. They are both currently working on the 2016 Environmental Report Card for LA County. In the future, Sagarika hopes to be working in the energy and climate policy sectors, and Sarah hopes to work in water management and field data collection.

Urban Humanities Initiative

Home on LA’s Edge

Our map documents access, resources, and the maneuvering of restricted space within the William Mead Homes housing project. We begin our journey with the two Sanborn maps which depict the housing project as it appeared in 1950. Named after real estate developer and L.A. politician William Mead who bequeathed the land, the William Mead Homes housing project was built from 1941 to 1942 and construction cost $1.2 million dollars. William Mead homes were an effort to provide affordable housing for low-income families who were both United States citizens and had lived in Los Angeles for at least one year. Despite only having these two restrictions, access to housing was limited for Black families due to the the quota maximum that prevented more than 7% of William Mead Homes residents to be Black. The restriction was removed in 1943 after much lobbying by community organizations. The William Mead Homes were developed as garden apartments. The purpose of garden apartments was to develop modest living quarters that incorporated landscape design and created green spaces. Residents were encouraged to partake in the care of the landscape and grow their own gardens. Some of the images in this section showcase the residents working on the project’s green spaces. Residents took pride in their project community in other ways, such as the establishment of a women’s volleyball team that won the city championship in 1951. At the same time, some of the families living in the housing project were displaced. In this image, we see the Guzman family gathered together in the living room. They were relocated to William Mead homes after they had lost their home in the fight over the Chavez Ravine. The William Mead Homes, which are also located near the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, have been perceived as an unsafe community. Residents have experienced violence such as shootings and stabbings during the project’s 60-plus-year history. But current residents, mostly Latino low-income families, have transformed their neighborhoods into dynamic sites of unity and struggle by re-imagining their place in the city through mural art and participation in local organizations like Clean and Green, a subdivision of the L.A. Conservation Corps. Our map foregrounds how a community like the William Mead Homes can be marginalized to the city’s edges yet find strength and resilience through the quotidian making and maintenance of their homes and their community. Through their strong sense of hope, a possible end of the racialized dispossession experienced in Los Angeles can be imagined. Maria Daniela Jimenez (PhD student, UCLA Chicano Studies) Nerve Macaspac (PhD candidate, UCLA Geography) Sarah Mercurio (MA student, UCLA Urban Planning) Josh Nelson (MA student, UCLA Architecture) May Wang (MA student, UCLA Architecture)

Norman Wong


A cloud-based mapping application for trend visualization and sustainable communities planning

Where in Southern California is rent increasing the fastest? Where do people have the longest commutes? Do disadvantaged communities have less access to healthy foods? Use REVISION to answer these questions and more. Norman Wong is the IT/Data Manager and GIS Program Manager at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. He is involved in GIS research and the design and development of internet-based mapping software. Mr. Wong’s duties include database management, GIS analysis/training/consultation, networking, application development, and general technical support. Previously, he held appointments in the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, and the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), and has been involved in numerous research projects during his 13+ years at the university. His interests include mapping, programming, and transportation-related issues. Norman has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics of Computation and a minor in Geography from UCLA.

We were at the Charles E. Young Research Library.

TEDxUCLASalon :: A Sense of Place

Charles E. Young Research Library