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Mapping Initiatives and Spatial Analysis

If you can’t map it, you can’t see it.

If you can’t see it, you can’t fix it.

Openstreetmaps, Latin America Geospatial Forum 2015

Data stands as a powerful tool to address the challenges faced by cities today: It is the key ingredient for evidence-based policy, for reading and understanding various phenomena and scenarios as well as for finding solutions and propelling innovations. Data is an asset for cities, their communities, citizens, entrepreneurs and policy makers, and maps in their turn make data more usable, friendly and attractive. They are instruments for visualizing and reading data and with a spatial dimension, telling a story of what happens where. They provide insights into how a phenomenon takes place and how it is displayed over the city and its territories. Maps allow us to see how assets, resources, needs, risk and hazards vary in the city space and show how they are unevenly displayed in the territory. Furthermore, they let us connect layers of the city and observe synergies between variables and in space. Maps help us design solutions and policies based on these understandings, facilitating our targeting the right population, areas and challenges. Simply put, they allow us to better narrate, read, understand and navigate the city and its layers.

Cities around the world generate copious amounts of data that is often not easy to read. Furthermore, cities often lack tools to display this data geographically and in a more decipherable and inviting manner, inhibiting the usage of this data and preventing themselves from capturing its benefits. Mexico City, a megacity of more than twenty million people, is no exception. In order to address this issue the Laboratorio para la Ciudad has created more than 30 maps of the city on various themes (digitalization, poverty, settlement typology, cars registered, participatory budgeting, creativity in the city, cultural infrastructure, children and young population, crime and homicide rates) and at different scales (municipal, AGEB and block, as well as for Mexico City proper and for the whole of Mexico City, or the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, MCMA). On the topic of health, the Laboratorio para la Ciudad has also made digital maps of disability, including motor disability and visual impairment as well as maps of people entitled to medical treatment in public or private institutions and by institutions (IMSS, ISSSTE, Seguro Popular).

The maps created serve as a guide in the design, planning and implementation of projects at the Laboratorio para la Ciudad. They are also shared and disseminated to create awareness on various topics. For instance, during car-free day in 2015, a map was created of cars registered in Mexico City and its Metropolitan Area. Calculations were made to show the growth rate for each borough and municipality. These figures were mapped to show where the growth rates were higher to help increase understanding of this phenomenon. These maps were shared through the social media platforms of the Laboratorio para la Ciudad, especially Twitter. Various maps were developed allowing users to check the number of cars registered by borough in Mexico City from 1980 up to 2014, as well as the growth rate in this period. A different map allowed the user to check cars registered for each year between 1994 and 2014 in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area. This analysis also allowed us to calculate the space used by the total number of cars in the city and create other similar forms of data visualization on this subject.

For centuries maps have helped us understand and navigate the world. Today they stand as a powerful, friendly and attractive tool for understanding and reading cities, prompting innovations and designing solutions, urban planning and evidence-based policy. We imagine a city where, through the use of maps, people are able to see connections and synergies between issues and phenomenon. But most importantly, we envision a city where people act upon these spatial notions and understandings. We see a city where maps are an essential part of the shared work of citizens, entrepreneurs and policy makers to make a better Mexico City.

 

Disability: People with Some Form of Impairment

Absolute and relative as percentage of the total population of the borough or municipality

Captura de pantalla 2016-04-20 a las 10.45.56 PM

Map created by the Urban Geography Department at the Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Data from INEGI 2010-Census Data. Own calculations of the relative numbers. To access the digital map, please click here

 

Disability: Motor Disability in MCMA

Absolute and relative as percentage of the total population of the borough or municipality

Captura de pantalla 2016-04-20 a las 10.46.11 PM

Map created by the Urban Geography Department at the Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Data from INEGI 2010-Census Data. Own calculations of the relative numbers. To access the digital map, please click here.

 

Disability: People with Some Form of Impairment

Absolute and relative as percentage of the total population of the borough or municipality

Captura de pantalla 2016-04-20 a las 10.46.16 PM

Map created by the Urban Geography Department at the Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Data from INEGI 2010-Census Data. Own calculations of the relative numbers. To access the digital map, please click here.

Poverty Map (Marginalization): Mexico City and MCMA

Captura de pantalla 2016-04-20 a las 10.46.23 PM

Map created by the Urban Geography Department at the Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Data from INEGI CONAPO 2010-Poverty Data (Grado de Marginación 2010). The map on the left shows poverty in Mexico City and the map on the right poverty in Mexico City Metropolitan Area. The map shows this at the AGEB (basic geo-statistical zone) scale.

 

Cultural Infrastructure in Mexico City

Captura de pantalla 2016-04-20 a las 10.46.30 PM
Map created by the Urban Geography Department at the Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Data from INEGI 2014 DENUE (Economic Units National Directory). Heat map showing the concentration of cultural infrastructure in Mexico City. The data was classified and filtered in order to create the map.