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Resource: GIS/Data Resources for Justice (SRLN 2017)

Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and data can provide useful information to drive decision making in the justice community. Here are some resources that can help.



Geospatial datasets at

ArcGIS Online

Census Bureau's American Community Survey

List of 50+ Federal GIS Servers by Joseph Elfelt

Legal Services Corporation data and maps by Kris Reinertson

National Equity Atlas

National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel - Interactive Map

Justice Index

An index that scores and ranks the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on their adoption of selected best practices for ensuring access to justice. It relies on findings, indicators, indexing and other data-analytics tools to gauge a person’s access regardless of whether a lawyer is used, English is spoken and understood, or that person has a physical or mental disability.

Wikipedia Listing of GIS data sources


Examples of GIS and Geographic Analysis

SRLN's Map Gallery

This gallery shows mapping applications created by SRLN using the Esri ArcGIS product suite including ArcMap and ArcGIS Online.


What’s In It For Me?  ​How to Use Geospatial Data Visualization to Inform and Engage Decision Makers

Map series created by SRLN in partnership with The Florida Bar Foundation using ArcGIS product suite.


Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice Uses SRLN Maps for Statewide Strategic Planning

Map series created by SRLN using ArcGIS product suite.


America's Civil Courts: Whom Do We Serve?

This story map map application was created by SRLN using the Esri ArcGIS product suite inlcuding ArcMap and ArcGIS Online.


Living Wage Calculator

From MIT professor Amy Glasmeier. Shows the differences between the minimum wage and a living wage for a family of four, a single parent with one child, and a single adult.


The Equality of Opportunity Project

How can we improve economic opportunities for our children? They use mapping and big data to identify new pathways to upward mobility.


Social Vulnerability Index

By the Center for Disease Control. Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks.


Kirwan Institute

Child Opportunity Index - collaborated with colleagues at Brandeis University to create this index of indicators for access to early childhood education centers thru web-based maps for the 100 largest metros.

H.E.A.T. Report for Wyandotte County, KS. We authored the report, which features analysis of patient-level data from two KC health care systems, as well as an array of other maps and analyses including the KC redlining map from the 30’s overlaid with present-day race distribution. I created a web-based map gallery featuring most of the maps.

Toledo Lead Ordinance Report with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) and the Toledo Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition to pass an ordinance requiring rental property owners to have their properties inspected and certified lead safe before renting to families with children. As part of that work, Bob Cole, ABLE’s lead attorney, and David Norris co-authored a report that included a GIS-based disparate impact analysis.

Economic Health Index

From Penn State's Poverty in America program


Data Analysis Framework

This framework provides examples and instructions on how to use data to perform analyses that help legal services organizations identify efficient ways to offer high quality and effective services.


Bridging the Map: The Geography of Legal Need and Aid in Arkansas

2016 Report by Nigel Halliday of Henrix College in collaboration with Amy Dunn Johnson of Arkansas Access to Justice. Examines the geographic imbalances in the distribution of legal aid and need in Arkansas. Assesses the shortage of rural attorneys in Arkansas, the state with the lowest per capita number of attorneys in the country. There is less than one attorney per thousand residents. 


Access to Justice in Rural Arkansas

March 2015 report by Lisa R. Pruitt, J. Cliff McKinney II, Juliana Fehrenbacher, and Amy Dunn Johnson. Presents gaps in numbers of attorneys in rural areas and proposes several methods for improving access for rural Arkansas.


Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

This mapping collective provides insight on what is happening with housing, tenancy, evictions, and the affordable housing stock in the Bay Area.


Track Predatory Lenders

This web map application shows concentrations of certain predatory lenders along with demographic information about the communities they prey on. Generally, payday and auto-title lenders locate closer to vulnerable low-income and minority neighborhoods. The application was created in association with a report advocating for a local zoning ordinance to restrict the proliferation of these lenders. The application was created by George Thomas at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in Toledo, Ohio, using all free tools. He geocoded addresses using Bing Maps and Mapquest, imported the data as Google Fusion tables, used Google Maps API, and QGIS to bring in other polygon data about poverty and race.


Quickly Identify HOME-funded projects

This web application helps legal aid attorneys locate housing projects that received HOME funding. The receipt of HOME funds triggers certain basic protections for tenants, but without mapped data, it can be difficult to quickly identify HOME funded projects in a legal aid organization’s service area. The application was created by George Thomas at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in Toledo, Ohio, using all free tools.


Child Asthma in Lucas County at Mercy Children's Pulmonary Center

This web application was created by George Thomas at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in Toledo, Ohio, using all free tools.


Segregation Contiues to Be NJ's State of the State

This map uses American Community Survey data to show the racial composition of neighborhoods. The author discusses show how historic housing practices are still showing in modern-day communities and discusses affordable housing efforts.


Access to Justice for Children

This map provides a national summary of access to justice for children across the world.



ArcGIS Online - Create a free public ArcGIS Online account.

Make a Map!: GIS Lite & Quick Map Tools: Free Map Tools - a list of free software and online tools.

Best Free Tools for Making Maps - a list created by January Advisors of open-source tools

Map Customizer - Plot addresses on Google Maps.

NatGeo Mapmaker Interactive - free online service for making maps


Perspective and Press on GIS for Justice

Location Technology Helps the Legally Vulnerable After Disasters by David Gadsden at Esri, February 7, 2018

More on ATJ Mapping in Richard Zorza's Access to Justice Blog

Geography and the Law -- Data Mapping to Improve Access to Justice by Ex Libris Juris at Harris County Law Library