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for GEOG 591

Description: Heat Wave

For my final project in GEOG 591, I will most likely employ an application that allows government authorities to assess the current placement of temporary cooling centers in a county or city.

What is a cooling center?

During a detrimental heat wave, local government authorities transform public buildings and spaces into cooling centers. These centers provide temporary relief to those who need air-conditioning, water, and/or medical attention. The centers are only opened for the duration of the heat wave. For more information, click here.

Why this topic?

I know this seems like a random topic. However, as someone who has experienced numerous heat waves throughout this country and who has spent the last 3 years working on public safety-related issues, I feel that I can use my personal and professional experience to create a practical project. Additionally, this project, with hope, can aid government authorities as they determine where to open cooling centers.

Project design (initial ideas)

·         Geocode the current locations of temporary cooling centers

·         Utilize Census data to obtain a percentage of the most vulnerable populations (i.e. elderly, homeless)

·         Find the city or county’s hottest areas in the summer time

·         Look at the centers’ proximity to schools, swimming pools, and tree clusterings

·         Add zoom and identify capabilities



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