, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 47–62 | Cite as

Integrating publicly available web mapping tools for cartographic visualization of community food insecurity: a prototype

  • Myunghwa Hwang
  • Marissa Smith


Spatial profiling of community food security data can help the targeting of geographic areas and populations most vulnerable to food insecurity. While multiple poverty mapping systems support spatial profiling, they often lack capabilities to disseminate mapping results to a wide range of audiences and to spatially link qualitative data to quantitative analysis. To address these limitations, this study presents a web mapping framework which integrates a variety of publicly available software tools to enable spatial exploration of both quantitative and qualitative data. Specifically, our framework allows online choropleth mapping and thematic data exploration through a mixture of free mapping Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and open source software tools for spatial data processing and desktop-like user interfaces. The study demonstrates this framework by developing a web prototype for informing food insecurity issues in Bogotá, Colombia. The prototype implementation reveals that the proposed framework facilitates the development of scalable and functionally-extensible mapping systems and the identification of community-specific food insecurity problems (e.g., food kitchens inaccessible from workplaces of low-income residents). This suggests that web-based cartographic visualization using publicly available software tools can be useful for spatial examination of community food insecurity as well as for cost-effective distribution of the resulting map information.


Community food security Web mapping Spatial data exploration Choropleth mapping Free or open source software Bogotá 



We would like to thank Dr. Luc Anselin, Dr. Julia Koschinsky, and Charles R. Schmidt of the GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation at Arizona State University for their support and feedback. Natalia Maria Rojas Tarazona’s research assistance, especially in regards to local data collection in Bogotá, is also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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