Technologies used in the Atlas of Global Inequality
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
All maps generated by the Atlas team that are included online have been generated using ESRI’s ArcView software. Maps are created in ArcView, exported as EPS files and then modified in Adobe Photoshop for inclusion on the web (color corrected and formatted – see below for more details). The Atlas utilized ArcView 3.2 in the first two years and then switched to ArcView 9.2 (the most recent version). All maps generated by the Atlas team are directed under supervision of Brian Fulfrost, the GIS coordinator/lecturer at UCSC. Data is classified using a number of standard schemes, including equal interval, quintiles and natural breaks (Jencks-Turner) as well as custom schemes, such as seen in our GDP per Capita maps, where we also manually identify key thresholds (the UN standard is $1 or $2 per day, which we add specifically to the map). Atlas team members, also review the histogram of data points before choosing a classification scheme, so that once a schema is chosen, it best reflects the distribution of the data itself. The Atlas also gives users access to dynamic user driven maps (our Make a Map web page) utilizing ESRI’s ArcIMS technology.
In addition to the use of GIS, database and web programming, the Atlas currently utilizes Flash technologies (a product of Adobe) to develop web accessible animations. These animations have been developed with the assistance of one of UCSC’s instructional technology experts, Sheryl Martin-Schultz. The animations are used to both assist users in learning how to navigate and interact through various aspects of the site (including the database) as well as to illustrate various aspects of inequality that the Atlas team feels would be more difficult with standard text and tables.
These and other web based technologies have allowed us to provide our users a wide dynamic content (in addition to our regularly updated thematic content). These pages include: Country Pages, Database and our Make a Map web page.
The web pages produce a range of dynamic user-driven content, including downloadable reports, tables, graphs and maps, from our database.