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Mapping Catcalling Incidents in Chapel Hill

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The Research Hub assisted students with a crowd-sourced map that tracked catcalling at UNC.
The students in Professor Susan Page’s course, “Women’s Studies 290: Encountering Art in the Unexpected”, devised a unique plan for their final project: they drew a map of campus on a 12′ by 15′ foot sheet of canvas and unfurled it on the ground in front of Davis Library. Passers-by were invited to to make marks on the map, recording the locations of their personal experiences with catcalling and street harassment. Around 250 incidents were recorded, but the students didn’t stop there! They wanted a way to share and preserve the data they had gathered, which meant a call to the Research Hub was in order.

With the support of a GIS librarian, the students generated a spatial dataset based on the canvas map, and then created the online version using platforms such as ArcGIS Online and OpenStreetMap. This project caught the attention of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and was featured in both the library blog and the Daily Tar Heel!