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Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

City of Cambridge, MD - Public Works and Salisbury State University

Project Goal

The city of Cambridge (Md.) is like a lot of economically depressed municipalities across the country, not only rebounding from a historical recession but also dealing with generations of economic decline due to manufacturing globalization. Neighborhoods of housing stock, mostly historic in nature, face unique challenges which required unique solutions. The Cambridge Blighted Housing Study utilized GIS software to score and map blight risk to determine the variables driving housing decline and the most effective way to address them. Using this format, decisions cannot only be based on real-time data, but it can also eventually eliminate the need for costly housing studies done by third-party consultants.
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Business Problem Solved

Cambridge and its County (Dorchester) have past housing study efforts, each done to varying levels of effectiveness. In some cases, the studies were done thoroughly, but implementation strategies didn’t consider limiting factors of local staff, budgets or capabilities. In other cases, housing studies were based on questionable data. The Cambridge Blighted Housing Study effort was a data collection strategy developed by residents and city staff, meant to address the uniqueness of housing issues which exist here. It was developed to be expanded, and GIS technology allows that data to be quantified in real time, considering a number of factors which can evolve as the city’s needs change. Conventional housing studies, contracted outside of our rural environment, are static and require costly updates. As this current Cambridge Blighted Housing Study develops with the expanding technology, the next set of data will always be a work in progress.

Technology Implemented

ArcMap 10.5, ArcGIS Online, Survey123 for ArcGIS

Development Team Biography

LaSara Kinser: City of Cambridge, Planning and Zoning Assistant
Scott Shores: City of Cambridge, DPW – GIS Specialist
Brandon Hesson: City of Cambridge, Associate Director of Economic Development
Michael S. Scott, PhD, GISP is Associate Dean of the Henson School of Science and Technology and a Professor of Geography at Salisbury University
Dr. Amal K. Ali is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Geosciences at Salisbury University
Student Surveyors: Michael Agyemang, Jack Cambre, Christopher Patrick Clark, Daniel Dall, Crysta Draayer, Matthew Farace, Tyler Fink, Cole Fisher, Jamie Freeland, Carrie Harlow, Nathan Mattola, Dylan Mauzy, Jess Molnar, Hunter Phillips, Candice Stephenson, Madison Warfield, Brian Will

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