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Mapping Prejudice in Minneapolis

Kevin Ehrman-Solberg and Ryan Mattke are collaborating with other researchers to examine racially restrictive covenants in housing deeds
March 27, 2017

A collaborative project between University of Minnesota Libraries and Augsburg College uses GIS and mapping technology to examine racially restrictive covenants in housing deeds. More specifically, Kevin Ehrman-Solberg, project lead and MGIS graduate student, together with Ryan Mattke, Map and Geospatial Information Librarian at the Borchert Map Library, and Kirsten Delegard, Augsburg College History professor, are illustrating how GIS can be used to explore historic injustices and understand modern racial disparities. Read more about this fascinating project in the UMN Libraries’ continuum newsletter.  

Ryan Mattke is also a member of the MGIS graduate faculty and serves as Kevin’s faculty adviser. Additionally, he teaches a very popular course on Spatial Digital Humanities (GIS 5576) offered in the spring semester. This course attracts students from a variety of programs across campus who are interested in using mapping techniques for their research projects. It introduces students to a variety of mapping and digital scholarship techniques.  

Kevin Ehrman-Solberg did his undergraduate degree in history at Augsburg College, entered the MGIS program in fall 2015 and subsequently was hired as a research assistant at the Borchert Map Library. His project exemplifies the outstanding collaborative research that is possible in the field of geographic information science by bringing together people from different backgrounds and programs to examine an important societal issue. In addition to having this work featured in the Star Tribune and at the University of Minnesota, Kevin has spoken to homelessness advocates, community organizations, and church groups about the project’s initial findings.