Public safety concerns at Dickinson College are dynamic; this is especially true with lit walkways on campus. Areas that are initially classified as ‘safe’ to walk through can within a short amount a time be classified as ‘dangerous,’ and vice versa; the areas that were ‘red-flagged’ by students five years ago are no longer issues today. The Department of Public Safety recognizes these concerns and is open to suggestions made by students in an effort to make the campus feel safe. In this project, I wanted to explore the current concerns of students by mapping the Dickinson owned lamp posts and highlight areas that should be focused on for the addition of new light fixtures in the near future.
I began my study by renting out a recreational grade Garmin 62S from the Bosler Media Center and mapping out all Dickinson owned lamp posts on the main part of campus as waypoints. Originally, I also wanted to collect waypoints for all the Carlisle Borough street lamps and Dickinson parking lot lights within the main campus, but the task was too complex for this current project. In total, I mapped 271 lamp posts which I located while doing a walkthrough of the campus. After data collection, I uploaded the waypoints as a shapefile on ArcMap and added other data layers that detailed parts of campus, including buildings, streets, walkways, as well as a satellite image of the area.
After creating this map, I met with Lt. Fasio of the Department of Public Safety who has data from the past year of areas which students have alerted him as being ‘unsafe’ as well as areas that he realizes need attention in the near future. Taking this list, and visually analyzing the map I created, I found 6 areas that could be considered problem areas which the school should focus on for the addition of new light fixtures in the near future. This includes the area surrounding the recently acquired Allison Hall, the walkways leading to South College, the railroad tracks in front of Kaufman Hall, the area around Dana Hall, the routes to reach the Factory Apartments, and the area around the Kline Center once its construction is completed in the summer of 2014. I made another shapefile that outlines these areas on campus in ArcMap, and following this, I uploaded all my files to ArcGis Online into a webmap application. Along with working with the presentation of the web map I created, I also added interactive descriptions for the problem areas.
Although I always hear my fellow students complaining about the lack of lighting on campus, and even though I did find some problem areas, overall this campus is very well lit. It must not be forgotten that this campus is incorporated within the town it is located in; Carlisle residents live adjacent to on-campus housing and the center of town is just down the street from campus. Therefore, students cannot expect that the campus will be lit up to the degree that a football field or theme park would. Also, considering that I did not include Carlisle Borough street lights or Dickinson parking lot lights, this map shows a very safety-forward campus as long as students stay on Dickinson walkways and stay aware of their surroundings. I hope other students will also understand this conclusion from my map and see what areas they may want to be extra cautious around until there are additional lighting fixtures in place.
The images below show data layers used in this project; the first being the lamp posts collected, the second being the problem areas in relation to these lamp posts, and the third being a description box created in the ArcGis Online Application.