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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ben's Project Proposal

Hi, everyone. I'm planning on exploring rural library service around Washburn county, where my family's cabin is located. As far as I know, no library exists in the particular town of Minong, and probably not within twenty miles. A lot of people vacation on the area lakes, and I believe that the residents and the vacationers would benefit from public library service. I'm pretty sure that residents either need to drive north to Superior, or south to Rice Lake in order to find a library. I would like to use GIS to map roads, education levels, industry, population distribution broken down by season somehow, and ideally, locations of cabins. A map of cabins might be hard to come by, but I can use a map of lakes and rivers, in addition to utility lines in order to generalize cabin distribution. Mapping the rustics and the people who don't live near water will be more difficult. I plan on using Factfinder and the Washburn county website, among others to try to find datasets. I will use a county-level scale, including the directly adjacent counties, along with town and resort scales if I can find datasets and maps at those scales. I'm open to any advice that people can offer.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Christy said...

Ben - I think your idea is very interesting and it's nice that someone has decided to focus on rural library service. I think you will have quite a challenge in gathering some of the data you want/need, especially (as you said)locating those rural cabins in a geocoded way. I wonder if there is any literature out there on vacationers' use of libraries? I know when I was visiting Nantucket a few years ago, my family wanted to shop and I didn't, so I headed to the local library to hang out and kill some time. Maybe you could use some research of that sort to help support your idea.

As for data sets - you might see if you could get hold of parcel/tax data from the county to help you determine who owns what land, and if there are any structures there. Depending on how up-to-date they are, I know some counties have all this info already digitized for GIS use. Probably a long shot but you could try.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Nick said...

Ben, you might try to contact the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in Spooner, WI. They have a GIS professional who would probably be able to get you the data quite easily. Good luck!


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