Current Projects


The GIS Center, partnering with University Outreach, has received a grant from the CS Mott Foundation to expand our existing spatial data repository and develop a prototype interactive geospatial website that will enable various community members to access, visualize, manipulate, and analyze baseline data.  The data repository will allow for an inventory, organization, and storage of local and regional data, as well as data from community organizations. These datasets will then be made available to the various community stakeholders and the public for viewing, downloading, and basic spatial analysis.  Community stakeholders include organizations such as Flint Community Schools, Flint Chamber of Commerce, Ruth Mott Foundation, Community Foundation, CRIM Fitness Foundation, City of Flint, among others.


Completed Projects

department of justice byrne program

The GIS Center were the lead GIS analysts on a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program.  They collaborated with researchers from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michigan State University, and Kettering University, along with area community organizations.  The overarching goal of the project was to reduce blight and crime in the University Avenue Corridor within the City of Flint. 


Access to healthy foods is a valid and growing concern for many people in the U.S.  Across the nation, more than 50 million Americans live in a food insecure household.  The GIS Center (GISC) at UM-Flint assisted in understanding what causes food insecurity in Michigan through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant entitled: “Examining Disparities in Food Access and Enhancing the Food Security of Underserved Populations in Michigan.”  Using the resources available in the GISC, research assistants used GIS software and robust spatial analysis techniques to understand the geography of food in Michigan.  The cartographic and spatial statistical outputs helped produce a comprehensive assessment that determined what tangible and intangible barriers exit in obtaining healthy food. For more information please contact Dr. Rybarczyk at or visit the USDA project award announcement here.  You can view an explanatory poster here.

City of Flint Mapping of Lead Service Line connections
The GIS Center approached the City of Flint in Octobe 2015 to provide any support in the Flint Water Crisis that we could.  After receiving images of the city showing the curb boxes, the GIS Center hired 8 assistants and with the help of Troy Rosencrants, coded more than 56,000 parcels within the City with the type of service line connections at each parcel.  In total, the process took about three weeks.  The GIS Center provided the data to Mayor Weaver and the City of Flint on February 12, 2016 and participated in a press conference on February 22, 2016 to announce our findings.  

Two primary objectives of this project are: 1) to ascertain through water sampling whether a spatial correlation exists between the presence of stored hazardous materials and the water sampled at drainage outfalls; and, 2) to spatially assess an area’s fire-fighting capability given the potential fire risks. These analyses focused on two communities within Genesee County, Michigan: Grand Blanc City and Flint Township. A key outcome from this study was the synthesis of storm-sewersheds though the use of LIDAR data, storm sewer outfalls and storm drain locations.  The project participants were the GISC, Genesee County GIS Office and the Genesee County Dept. of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; Grand Blanc Dept. of Public Works and Fire Department, and the Flint Township Fire Department.  Dr. Marty Kaufman from Earth and Resource Science is the lead investigator, with Troy Rosencrants from the GISC and Tayseer Wasif from Chemistry/Biochemistry acting as co-investigators.

From this research, Dr. Marty Kaufman and Troy Rosencrants published a scholarly article discussing the fire-flow capacity analysis to the Fire Safety Journal.  You can view the article here.