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Our group partnered with the Jackson City Geographic Information Systems Department to explore and develop new ways of making the impressive collection of geo-data and maps that it maintains available and accessible to the public in novel and useful ways.

Our partner, Wade Renando, suggested that we start our project by digitizing all of the Jackson Public School bus routes, which were initially written out long-form in PDFs.  After finishing this work, we were inspired by all of the map data that Wade had available to design a web application that would allow users to dynamically interact with all map data that the City wanted to make public.  Users would be able to view layers, download the data themselves to create their own value-added maps, and provide feedback to the GIS department through the site. 

Our hope is that this application will both provide a novel service to the citizens of Jackson, but also shed light on the exciting work coming out of the GIS department that often goes under-appreciated.  

  • Slides from our final presentation in Jackson.
  • Sustainability Plan document delivered at the project's end.
  • All bus routes and stops we digitized for Jackson High School - a sample of our bus route work.
  • Our poster from the final exposition.



  • Rachel Seltz

    Rachel Seltz

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    I come from a library science background, so I enjoyed learning more about GIS software and uses, a topic I was previously unfamiliar with. As it turns out, GIS is a great way for people to visualize, research, and connect with their community. Participating in this project allowed me to interview potential users of our interactive map application. Learning from their thoughts helped us to design a more effective product.
  • Jeremy Wdowik

    Jeremy Wdowik / Analyst

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    I have a background in programming, as well as computer interaction design, taking classes in both the School of Engineering and School of Information. With this skill set, the idea to create some kind of application, web based, fostered my skills.

    Throughout the research and planning, I was able to give advice to my group and other groups on what routes to take, and what options were available. I was also able to talk with the main developer that was hired and help him gain a better understanding of the application we wanted to build.

  • James McDaniel

    James McDaniel / GIS Specialist

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    As it happened, I took a class in geographic information systems (GIS) concurrently with this project. I was GIS specialist in the group and was primarily responsible for making sure all of the bus route creation was completed properly. Additionally, I worked with Jeremy in exploring the different options available when it came to designing a map-rendering web application. We tested out a few different APIs and various code libraries. Throughout the development process (which the application still is), I've been our team's primary contact for the developer.
  • University of Michigan School of Information

    University of Michigan School of Information

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor


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