Maps Toronto

Mapping Toronto’s homeless shelters: an interactive mapping exercise

Earlier this week,  I mapped the locations of Toronto’s homeless shelters for Torontoist. While there are shelters located across the city, the capacity is located almost entirely within the old city of Toronto, especially in the Downtown east side, between Church Street and the Don River. This is despite the fact that the need for shelters, like all social services and affordable housing, is city wide. I obtained the homeless shelter data from the City of Toronto’s Open Data catalog.

Unlike previous mapping exercises, I used CartoDB to create an interactive map, rather than relying on Quantum GIS (open source GIS software) or ESRI ArcGIS (software developed and maintained by the leading GIS firm) to create static maps. Importing data into CartoDB is quite easy; the selection of simple base maps is also very helpful. Creating legends and classifications had a bit of a learning curve, but on the whole, I was quite pleased with the result.

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