NEW DATA AND MORE: Urban Farms, New Interactive Maps, and Take our Survey!

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We want your feedback! Please take our survey:

It has been just over a year since we officially launched our website. We have received some excellent comments since then, but in order to truly evaluate our progress, we have developed a brief survey to gather your feedback about the project. We would love to know who is using the website, if the information we provide is useful and easy to access, and how we could improve the website. Please take 5 minutes to add your perspective: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MarylandFoodSystemMap

We really appreciate your interest in our work and your time providing feedback!

New Maps in Special Projects:

In an effort to make our data and maps more useful to multiple audiences, we have begun creating what we refer to as "single-theme maps" – maps that focus on a single aspect of the food system. Our first map builds on the Nutrition Assistance data that we added earlier this year. Our second map is a pilot effort to develop a "story map" that includes photos and audio associated with points on the map.

  • Nutrition Assistance Map
    Using key layers included on the Maryland Food System Map this map includes data specific to the federal benefit food programs for low income populations. This includes the Food Supplement Program (what SNAP, or food stamps, is known as in Maryland) participation rates at both the county and zip code levels, Schools with 50% or more children who are eligible for free and reduced cost meals and Afterschool Meal Program Sites. This map was developed in collaboration with our partners at Maryland Hunger Solutions. We will continue to add related data to this map.
  • Voices of Food Insecurity in Maryland
    In partnership with the Marc Steiner Show, a local public affairs radio program on WEAA 88.9 FM, we have developed a "story map" focusing on Food Insecurity in Maryland. The story map template is a new product from Esri, the software company that makes ArcMap GIS products. It allows you to embed audio, video and photographs into a map, to help tell a story more completely. As part of the Sound Bites series, the Steiner Show interviewed people across Maryland who use food stamps, local food pantries and other emergency food services, as well as people working to provide these services. We hope that adding this content to the map will bring the issue to light in a new, more personal way. We will continue to add sites and media to this map as well.

Our goal is to provide more of these "single theme" maps to make it easier for users to focus on their topics of interest, while at the same time maintaining all of the data in our main map to demonstrate the multiple aspects of the food system together in one place.

Data Layer Updates:

We have only one data layer update to announce with this newsletter, as we've been busy developing the new interactive maps mentioned above. But it's a good one!

  • Urban Farms – Baltimore City now has 15 urban farms, including Baltimore City Public School's Great Kids Farm, just outside city limits in Catonsville. These farms range from small-scale community farms, like Boone Street Garden (pictured above), to medium-scale farms with multiple hoop houses selling to restaurants and via a mobile market, like Real Food Farm in Clifton Park. These farms are all part of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, "a vibrant network of urban farms," and represent the burgeoning movement to grow food more locally. This layer is found in our Agriculture category.

Reminders:

All of these new data layers are defined in the "Glossary" in the "About the Map" section.

IMPORTANT: Please remember to clear your cache on your web browser if you are not able to see the new layers of data in the left hand menu. Here is a wiki page that explains how to do this on all browsers. Please email us with any questions.

Users can subscribe on the website to receive notices when new layers are added to the map. As always, if you have any questions or feedback for us, please email us at foodmap@jhsph.edu.

Launch the Maryland Food System Map Website >

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