Research Opportunities

Books and Publications
Boundaries of Home, Doug Aberley, The New Society Publishers, 1993: Boundaries explains about how maps can be used to illustrate the underlying bioregional, rural environment, rather than just considering the built environment. The main focus is informing the local community. Extensive reading list.

Where We Live, Harker & Natter, Island Press, 1995: A citizen's guide to conducting a community environmental inventory. Where We Live focuses on problem sighting and solving. Mapping is a one of several charting methods, checklists and follow-up methods. Lots of resources and agency listings.

Discovering Your Life Place: A First BioRegional Workbook, Planet Drum Foundation, Planet Drum Books, PO Box 31251 San Francisco, CA 94131: Helps people understand their relationship with local natural systems. Bioregional map making guide. Planet Drum has lots of other very useful, inspiring materials, too.

How to Lie With Maps, Mark Monmonier, University of Chicago Press, 1991: Helps us understand how maps can manipulate us.

The Map Atlas, Joel Makower, Tilden Press, several editions: A survey of the different kinds of maps and map products available in the US.

The Power of Maps, Dennis Wood, Smithsonian, 1992: On the relationship between cartography, amd economic, social & political forces. From the Cooper-Hewitt Museum's great exhibition of the same name.

Internet Resources
Boulder Community Network
Boulder County Land Use Department GIS
BCN List of Environmental Groups

Site Selection
The public library: Look for books and magazines covering local: tourism, new resident introductions, history, natural resources, pollution generators, materials from environmental organizations, and governmental agencies. Look for directories like Coop America's National Green Pages.

The Yellow Pages: under ecological/environmental organizations, and under specific business classifications that will be included on your Map, like recyclers, natural food stores, solar power companies, using the category checklist. Many phone books have useful pages introducing newcomers to the city. Search by key category words.

Tourist guides: from both the library and bookstores.

Community groups: locate groups that will give you info and perhaps maps on things like bike lanes, waterfront habitats, community gardens and so on.

Community leaders: ask them who else you should contact for information, too, at organizations, schools, agencies, businesses, etc. These contacts will help spread the word about the Map, in return. Keep track of them so you can acknowledge their help later.

Governmental agencies: including the environmental protection offices, parks, economic development, education, planning, transportation, energy conservation, etc. Go through the regular telephone book or a directory of all your city's governmental offices to find other resources, too.

UC Boulder: departments of geography, landscape architecture, and natural resources.

Free green publications: sometimes, it's a good idea to call the editorial office and ask if a past edition has compiled some of the info you're seeking. Besides, once they hear about your Green Map, they might help you out by publishing a story on it, soliciting Green Site ideas from their readers.

Here are just a few examples of green businesses which aren't necessarily marketing themselves as ecological or socially-responsive. We have to decide which category a site belongs in, and some may need more than one Icon.

Including Toxics?
Should our Map include environmental negatives? Putting the toxic hot spots on the Map could help rally the response against them, activating citizens toward changing policies regarding threats to health and safety. Just being pointed out will cause some toxic hot spots to clean themselves up. Including these sites is great attention getter, too, and shows people how serious you are about presenting a complete picture of your area's environment. Green Maps are powerful advocacy tools, and can communicate a pollution prevention message in a general way, even without pointing out individual problematic sites.

Getting an accurate list of our area's toxic hot spots from a governmental agency or very credible, well-respected environmental organization is very important. Your Map should state the name and contact number of good sources of information, as they will be much better equipped to answer questions about the toxic and polluted sites than you are. There is an excellent hands-on book that is a guide to conducting a community environmental inventory called Where We Live that shows you how to find, track and map these sites, and how to get the public and political attention focused on cleaning them up.

Map Design
Take a look at maps of your city where ever you do your research, and start making a collection as you go. Your local tourist board, mass transit center, community board, secondhand and bookshops are all good places to add to your collection. While in shops, note how the maps are displayed. Are they in a special rack? What does the rack say? Are they sold by the check-out stand, mixed in but well-located, or hidden in the back? Are there display maps? Are they laminated or have extra copy on them? How much do the maps cost? If you make some notes as you go along, things will be easier to decide later.

Note, too, the design