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Evaluations in the City of Phoenix Head Start Agencies

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There is a serious need for early childhood intervention practices for children who are living at or below the poverty line. Since 1965 Head Start has provided a federally funded, free preschool program for children in this population. The City

There is a serious need for early childhood intervention practices for children who are living at or below the poverty line. Since 1965 Head Start has provided a federally funded, free preschool program for children in this population. The City of Phoenix Head Start program consists of nine delegate agencies, seven of which reside in school districts. These agencies are currently not conducting local longitudinal evaluations of their preschool graduates. The purpose of this study was to recommend initial steps the City of Phoenix grantee and the delegate agencies can take to begin a longitudinal evaluation process of their Head Start programs. Seven City of Phoenix Head Start agency directors were interviewed. These interviews provided information about the attitudes of the directors when considering longitudinal evaluations and how Head Start already evaluates their programs through internal assessments. The researcher also took notes on the Third Grade Follow-Up to the Head Start Executive Summary in order to make recommendations to the City of Phoenix Head Start programs about the best practices for longitudinal student evaluations.

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2014-05

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Tile-based methods for online choropleth mapping: a scalability evaluation

Description

Choropleth maps are a common form of online cartographic visualization. They reveal patterns in spatial distributions of a variable by associating colors with data values measured at areal units. Although this capability of pattern revelation has popularized the use of

Choropleth maps are a common form of online cartographic visualization. They reveal patterns in spatial distributions of a variable by associating colors with data values measured at areal units. Although this capability of pattern revelation has popularized the use of choropleth maps, existing methods for their online delivery are limited in supporting dynamic map generation from large areal data. This limitation has become increasingly problematic in online choropleth mapping as access to small area statistics, such as high-resolution census data and real-time aggregates of geospatial data streams, has never been easier due to advances in geospatial web technologies. The current literature shows that the challenge of large areal data can be mitigated through tiled maps where pre-processed map data are hierarchically partitioned into tiny rectangular images or map chunks for efficient data transmission. Various approaches have emerged lately to enable this tile-based choropleth mapping, yet little empirical evidence exists on their ability to handle spatial data with large numbers of areal units, thus complicating technical decision making in the development of online choropleth mapping applications. To fill this knowledge gap, this dissertation study conducts a scalability evaluation of three tile-based methods discussed in the literature: raster, scalable vector graphics (SVG), and HTML5 Canvas. For the evaluation, the study develops two test applications, generates map tiles from five different boundaries of the United States, and measures the response times of the applications under multiple test operations. While specific to the experimental setups of the study, the evaluation results show that the raster method scales better across various types of user interaction than the other methods. Empirical evidence also points to the superior scalability of Canvas to SVG in dynamic rendering of vector tiles, but not necessarily for partial updates of the tiles. These findings indicate that the raster method is better suited for dynamic choropleth rendering from large areal data, while Canvas would be more suitable than SVG when such rendering frequently involves complete updates of vector shapes.

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2013

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Assessing Adaptation Strategies for Extreme Heat: A Public Health Evaluation of Cooling Centers in Maricopa County, Arizona

Description

Preventing heat-associated morbidity and mortality is a public health priority in Maricopa County, Arizona (United States). The objective of this project was to evaluate Maricopa County cooling centers and gain insight into their capacity to provide relief for the public

Preventing heat-associated morbidity and mortality is a public health priority in Maricopa County, Arizona (United States). The objective of this project was to evaluate Maricopa County cooling centers and gain insight into their capacity to provide relief for the public during extreme heat events. During the summer of 2014, 53 cooling centers were evaluated to assess facility and visitor characteristics. Maricopa County staff collected data by directly observing daily operations and by surveying managers and visitors. The cooling centers in Maricopa County were often housed within community, senior, or religious centers, which offered various services for at least 1500 individuals daily. Many visitors were unemployed and/or homeless. Many learned about a cooling center by word of mouth or by having seen the cooling center’s location. The cooling centers provide a valuable service and reach some of the region’s most vulnerable populations. This project is among the first to systematically evaluate cooling centers from a public health perspective and provides helpful insight to community leaders who are implementing or improving their own network of cooling centers.

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2016-09-23